Columbia QuadSquad Rollergirls of Columbia, South Carolina had to fight for their opportunity to play the headliner game at home on Friday night of 2016 International WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs Columbia. Their come-from-behind last jam win against Rainy City Roller Derby from Manchester, England earlier today saw them facing the 2015 WFTDA Champion Rose City Rollers from Portland, Oregon. While Rose City is ranked fourth in the WFTDA, they are serious Hydra contenders again this year and demonstrated why, winning the game 439-67.
Columbia QuadSquad got on the scoreboard first with a quick 2-0 win by Poison Violet to start the game. Scald Eagle took the lead for Rose with a 3-0 jam, and the third jam went two minutes with penalties to both teams’ jammers. With 5 minutes gone, the score was a close 13-10, but then Rose City turned it up a notch. A 20-0 jam by Rose jammer Frisky Biscuits was followed up by the highest scoring jam in playoffs so far, 40-0 for Scald Eagle. What was a close game 5 minutes in was blown open 77-10 by 10 minutes in. LickerNSplit, Loren Mutch, and Starta Ruckus also put up 20-plus point jams in the first half. While Columbia was attempting to do point control via star passes to their pivots, their pivots were having a hard time with Rose’s blocking trio. The Columbia defense was challenged regularly by Rose City committing to an offensive blocker. By the end of the first half, the score had grown 242-17.
The second half saw some good adaptations for Columbia. Poison Violet, while successful on her first jam of the game, had been stymied by the Rose City blockers since. She moved into a pivot role, while Holly Hunter, who had pivoted most of the game earlier in the day, found more success as a jammer and had a 29% lead against the #1 seed. Star passes to Poison Violet helped to keep the multi-pass jams down and as Rose City started to run longer jams against the pivot-turned-jammers, this strategy increased the number of points Columbia put on the scoreboard. Holly Hunter and Do U Juana both won jams for the host league in the second half as jammers and Rox Ann Stones stole a jam 13-9 from Frisky Biscuits after being passed the star. However, as the score grew for Columbia, it also grew for Rose and it became a question of whether Rose would be the first team to reach 400 points in a playoff game this year. With less than ten minutes left, Rose sat 29 points from that goal, 381-48.
Rather than taking charge and running with it, the last 10 minutes saw the teams trading points and jams. Holly Hunter won a jam 3-0 for Columbia before Frisky Biscuits took one 9-0 for Rose. The next jam saw Loren Mutch steal 3 points to Do U Juana’s 2 when the Columbia jammer had lead, while the following jam was a 0-0 tie. In 5 minutes, Rose had only scored 12 points to Columbia’s 5. LickerNSplit finally put her team over the 400 mark with a 14-0 jam with 5 minutes left in the half. In the final 3 jams Rose City took 32 points to Columbia’s 17, with the last jam going the full two minutes after Scald Eagle and Erin N. Carrino both going to the box for penalties while wearing the star. Columbia would put up a total of 50 points in the second half compared to their 17 in the first, while Rose’s scoring slowed from the first half just a tad putting up 197 points, with 3 of their jammers breaking the century mark individually: Loren Mutch, Scald Eagle, and LickerNSplit.
Rose City goes on to the semifinals to face the Atlanta Rollergirls at 2pm on Saturday. Columbia QuadSquad moves to the consolation bracket and will face either Steel City Roller Derby or Crime City Rollers at 6pm on Saturday.
Rose City Rollers (#1) 439
Columbia QuadSquad (#8): 67