Arch Rival Roller Derby from St. Louis, MO, USA entered Game 6 of the 2016 International WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs Madison with an undefeated season record. As the tournament’s second seed, they’re looking to power through the bracket into a spot at the 2016 WFTDA Championships for the second year in a row. The tenth seeded Mad Rollin’ Dolls from Madison, WI, USA, had already pleased their home crowd with a thrilling back-and-forth game where they clinched the win at the very end against the No Coast Derby Girls from Lincoln, NE, USA. Though Madison put up a good fight with some exciting surges, Arch Rival overpowered the game and took the win, 314-75.
“Hosting a tournament at home is great. This is actually our home venue in Madison,” said Mad Rollin’ Dolls bench coach, Reckless. “It creates a calm and relaxing feeling because it’s a familiar space and familiar people.”
Arch Rival quickly took the lead with a 4-0 jam from Bricktator, followed by a 15-0 jam from Swanson. They continued to stretch their margin, finishing jam 4 with a 23-0 lead. In the following jam, Blanche Devereauxxx, donning the star for the host league, earned Madison’s first lead jammer status and first points—as well as first jammer penalty. She put eight points on the board for the Mad Rollin’ Dolls, but was bested by Swanson’s 19, and the jam ended with a score of 42-8, still in favor of Arch Rival.
Madison continued to experience jammer penalties when Mouse picked up a track cut in the next jam. But Madison had learned from Arch Rival’s offensive maneuvers in the previous power jam and they were able to evade them with greater success while Block Ness Monster and Shananaguns upped their defense with monstrous hits on Harmony Killerbruise, keeping her to just 10 points. With 10 minutes gone in the period, the score was 52-8, still in favor of Arch Rival.
Arch Rival continued to extend their lead with multiple scoring passes from Bricktator, Harmony Killerbruise, Swanson, and CupQuake. Madison was held nearly scoreless, but Black Velvet found some success for the Mad Rollin’ Dolls. She took the star against a fresh-legged CupQuake and earned lead jammer status and a five point grand slam—the first definitive jam win for Madison in the game. Arch Rival kept adding to their score until Black Velvet took the line once more, this time against Bricktator. A penalty to the St. Louis jammer and phenomenal offensive blocking by Sequin Destroyher gave Madison another 10 points. With 10 minutes remaining in the half, the score climbed to 106-23.
Veteran jammer, Mouse, struggled against an unforgiving Arch Rival defense on her initial pass in jam 16 and Bricktator capitalized by putting up one of the highest scoring jams of the tournament, 30-0, with five minutes remaining in the period. The Mad Rollin’ Dolls recovered with a 15-0 jam by Lady Who-Ha, but Arch Rival maintained a solid margin and went into the half leading 161-43.
The Mad Rollin’ Dolls seemed to have momentum on their side coming into the second period. They won six of the first seven jams, putting up 29 points—including a 14-4 jam by Black Velvet—in the first eight minutes.
“The home crowd provided us with a surge of energy,” said Reckless. “The cheering and leaguemate support fueled the fire on the bench.”
While Madison blockers A Magnitude and Slayhound continued to deliver timely and effective hits, Arch Rival blockers countered with powerful offense and their jammers became more daring with their edge work.
“They came out really, really hard and really together,” explained Arch Rival’s Smarty McFly. “That was something we then had to re-adjust to. I feel like we did a good job of moving back into our game and taking control. They did a great job at coming in hard and being super aggressive. We had to lock it down hard, making sure we’re getting lower and digging deeper.”
Arch Rival regained control and dominated throughout the second half. Cohesive defense, along with powerful offense from Shear-Ra Powers and K. Woodward, allowed Arch Rival’s jammers to lap Madison and score an unanswered 133 points.
“Once we upped our communication as a team, everyone stepped it up and the machine went into overdrive,” said Smarty McFly.
A track cut on CupQuake in the third-to-last jam would provide the Mad Rollin’ Dolls the opportunity to put points back on the board, and they grabbed three to Arch Rival’s 13 during the two-minute jam, bringing the score to 311-75. Arch Rival scored three more points before closing out the game 314-75 and taking the win. They move on to the semifinals, where they’ll play the Minnesota RollerGirls from St. Paul, Minnesota at 8 p.m. Central Time tomorrow.
The Mad Rollin’ Dolls move into the consolation bracket and play the winner of Game 7 on Saturday at 4 p.m. (CT).
Arch Rival Roller Derby (#2) 314
Mad Rollin’ Dolls (#10) 75