After starting down in game 5 of the 2016 International WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs Madison, Tampa Roller Derby of Tampa, FL, USA, rallied towards the end of the first half to pick up a commanding lead that the carried through to the end of the game. The Tampa Tantrums took a 190-97 victory over Team United Women’s Roller Derby of Des Moines, IA, USA.
Team United started with a quick lead out of the gate. By the third jam, Team United jammers CROWE and Case Closed had picked up 8 points while tight defensive walls kept Tampa scoreless. A back block by Ana Cheng in jam 4, followed by a track cut upon reentry, paved the way for Lolo Gunz to rack up several grand slams during the two power jams—resulting in a 23-4 lead for Team United.
That momentum began to shift around jam 6 when Tampa’s Smooth Operator began on a power start after CROWE was sent to the box for a track cut at the end of the previous jam. The Team United wall held her to just 4 points in the jam, but nonetheless, Tampa was beginning to chip away at the margin.
Impressive skating by Laryn Kill in jam 9 significantly cut into the Team United lead. Kill quickly tore through the pack to get lead jammer status and was able to lap Team United’s jammer, Lolo Gunz, who remained trapped by an exceptionally tight wall of Tampa blockers. Lolo Gunz broke free with only 15 seconds left in the jam and it ended 14-0 for Tampa, bringing the total score to 30-25 and narrowing Team United’s lead to just 15 points.
Tampa would officially take the lead in the next jam after CROWE received a track cut followed by an insubordination call while jamming for Team United. Smooth Operator added 14 more points on the board for Tampa, putting them ahead for the first time in the game, 39-30. They didn’t trail again for the rest of the game.
Tampa was able to capitalized on several Team United penalties throughout the game, scoring double-digit passes on power jams and taking advantage of short packs when Team United blockers filled the penalty box.
When both teams had their full lines on the track they proved to be formidable and evenly-matched opponents. Tampa and Team United walls were often successful at locking down the opposing jammer or forcing a cut with quick-footed run backs. Tampa’s Ally Cat Scratch drew a strategic cut against CROWE during the jam 11 of the second half. Lolli Pop Ya laid some huge hits for Team United and had impressive run backs that pulled Tampa jammers all the way around the track just as they were about to break through their initial pass.
Tampa was able to prevent Team United from scoring much during the second half, which helped them expand their lead with swift scoring passes from Ana Cheng, Lauryn Kill, Smooth Operator, Power Puff Curlz, and PhDiesel until the final whistle, when they skated off with a 190-97 victory. Tampa will play again on Saturday at 2 p.m. Central Time against Gotham Girls Roller Derby (seed #1). This will be Tampa’s first appearance in the semi-finals since 2012.
Team United will move to the Consolation Bracket where they will play the No Coast Derby Girls (seed #7) on Saturday at 12 p.m. (CT).
Tampa Roller Derby (#4) 190
Team United Women’s Roller Derby (#5) 97