Game 5 of the 2016 International WFTDA Division 2 Playoffs Lansing pitted the Charlottesville Derby Dames All Stars of Charlottesville, VA USA (seed #7, WFTDA #53) against the Sac City Rollers Capitol Punishers from Sacramento, CA USA (seed #2, WFTDA #44). Despite their lower seeding, Charlottesville took the lead in the first jam and never let up.
This is the third D2 appearance for Sac City, who finished 7th at last year’s D2 Playoffs in Detroit, but Charlottesville is making their D2 debut in Lansing, having finished 8th at last year’s D1 Playoffs in Jacksonville. Their 247-163 win against Sac City was their second win of not just the day, but their entire 2016 season.
“We’ve had a lot of change in the roster since last year’s playoffs,” explained Charlottesville Co-Captain Machete. “The wins feel great.”
Jammers didn’t wait to put points on the scoreboard. Charlottesville grabbed 20 points in the third jam, and Sac City responded with 23-points in the fifth jam, making the score 31-28 in favor of Charlottesville. The score stayed tight for the first half of period one, but started to shift hard in Charlottesville’s favor with a series of big power jams that would continue to be a theme throughout the game—with Sac taking 15 jammer penalties total to Charlottesville’s 6.
“We lost to the penalties,” said Sac City Coach La Lucha. “The calls were consistent; they were just good at the quick draw backs that caused [jammer] cuts.”
The pace and speed control really defined this game. The Big Bangarang, Co-Captain of Charlottesville, thought that using active offense on power jams in the first half was allowing Sac City to accelerate the speed and tire Charlottesville’s jammers.
“We used [passive offense] for speed control when they were fast in the first half, then used more offense in the second half when they were tired.” Bangarang said.
One of the most impressive moments of the game happened when Addy Kontrol—a junior skater who aged up to the Sac City Capitol Punishers—entered turn 3 on a scoring pass when there were several downed blockers. She wowed the audience with footwork that allowed her to skate unphased and untouched at a blistering pace, as though she was skating in an obstacle course she had seen countless times before.
In the end, Sac just couldn’t come back from the damage of their jammer penalties and Charlottesville came out ahead. Charlottesville moves on to face Wasatch Roller Derby (seed #2) on Saturday at 2 p.m. EST. Sac City will play in Game 10 of the Consolation Bracket on Saturday at 4 p.m. EST.
Sac City Rollers (#2) 163
Charlottesville Derby Dames (#7) 247