Sunday Recap: Slim Leads Mark Gameplay on Day 3 of 2019 International WFTDA Playoffs Seattle, Philly Heads to Champs

On Day 3 of the 2019 International WFTDA Playoffs in Seattle, teams faced off to confirm seeding as they plan to compete at the 2019 International WFTDA Championships in Montréal this November. In non-seeding games, London Roller Derby (#6) topped Arizona Roller Derby (#8) by only 14 points, and Jacksoville Roller Derby (#7) overcame Rat City Roller Derby (#5) by nearly 60 points. Philly Roller Derby held off Crime City Rollers (#4) with a 156-104 win to maintain their #3 seeding into Championships, while Denver Roller Derby (#1) beat Montréal Roller Derby (#2) to win this tournament and secure their top seed going into play in November.

Denver Roller Derby - Winners of 2019 International WFTDA Playoffs: Seattle
Photo: Anja Wettergren

More on the day’s action:

Game 13

Arizona Roller Derby v. London Roller Derby


London Roller Derby 175

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Sunday’s first game at the 2019 International WFTDA Playoffs Seattle between Arizona Roller Derby of Phoenix, Arizona, U.S. (Seed #8, WFTDA #23) and London Roller Derby of London, England, U.K. (Seed #6, WFTDA #17) saw both teams go on extended runs and take advantage of miscues by opposing jammers. In the waning moments of the game, London was able to fend off a strong challenge from their opponents and take the win, 175-159.

London started strong, with three straight lead jams to put them up 10-0, but then Arizona’s LUZER broke the streak with lead jammer status and four points. Both teams went back and forth eking out points, and though there were a few tie scores, London never trailed.

Arizona vs London in Game 13 of the 2019 International WFTDA Playoffs: Seattle
Photo: Keith Bielat

Key to London’s success in the first half was playing clean and capitalizing on power jams. While there were seven jammer penalties on Arizona’s side in the first half alone, London only suffered one — a track cut in the final jam of the period, which allowed Arizona to put up six unanswered points. At halftime the score stood at 94 for London, 52 for Arizona.

The second half began much like the first, with London taking four straight lead jams and holding Arizona scoreless. Casstrator broke the streak in the next jam and enjoyed a power jam as the London jammer was boxed. Arizona then went on a run of their own, picking up lead in six of the next seven jams and racking up points. The momentum had definitely swung in Arizona’s direction, with the score standing at 135-107 before London’s Sable and Delta Strike earned their team a little breathing room with scores of 3-0 and 8-0 respectively.

Arizona wasn’t done. They picked up another string of leads and closed the gap to 17 points with one jam left to play. Delta Strike and LUZER faced off, with LUZER earning lead, but Delta Strike managed to escape and start scoring as well. Enjoying a slight blocker advantage for most of the jam, London’s defense held LUZER just long enough to keep Arizona from overtaking them, and secured the win at 175-159.

In the postgame interview, Arizona’s Deez Nuts, who started her roller derby career with Arizona in 2004 and played her final game with her team today, described her favorite rule change: “My favorite is that jammers can walk back their cut, that they have the opportunity to take that back. That truly changed the game. Changed how we play the game defensively as well, but I think it’s certainly for the better.”

– Ally McKill

Game 14

Rat City Roller Derby (#5) vs. Jacksonville Roller Derby (#7)

Rat City Roller Derby122

Jacksonville Roller Derby 184

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Despite the advantage of the hometown crowd, tournament host Rat City Roller Derby of Seattle, Washington, U.S. (Seed #5, WFTDA #13) was upset in the consolation bracket by Jacksonville Roller Derby of Jacksonville, Florida, U.S. (Seed #7, WFTDA #18). The final score was 184-122 in favor of the New Jax City Rollers.

Seattle vs Jacksonville in Game 14 of the 2019 International WFTDA Playoffs: Seatle
Photo: Keith Bielat

Most of the first half was a back-and-forth game with four lead changes. Jacksonville took a 20-point lead but Rat City took advantage of power jams to go on a 29-3 run. The score remained close until Jacksonville held Rat City scoreless for four straight jams to end the half. The New Jax City Rollers led 98-58 at halftime.

In the second half Jacksonville continued to add points even while not earning lead jammer status, which allowed them to maintain the lead. Both teams were on their third games of the weekend, and the fatigue was evident in the number of penalties in the last 12 minutes of the game. Jacksonville’s Jamsterella sealed the victory with a 16-point jam in the waning minutes of the game.

Jamsterella and Erin Jackson each had 54 points for New Jax City while Mad Dog Murph had 26. They were assisted offensively and defensively by Leanne Groll, Stephanie Gentz, Lily the Kid and Snot Rocket Science.

Rat City jammer A. Green had 39 points while Littlefield had 34 and Rival-E had 22. The defense was led by H. Botts, Carmen Getsome, Mountain D’Ranged, Red deVicious and Kosher Assault.

Veteran skaters H. Botts and Carmen Getsome closed out their charter team careers with this game. Carmen Getsome, who started playing in 2006, announced her retirement in the postgame interview with “Bye roller derby, I love you!” she said, while giving credit for Seattle’s success to her team, league, supporters and volunteers.

– PulHitzHer Prize

Game 15 – 3rd Place

Philly Roller Derby (#3) vs. Crime City Rollers (#4)

Philly Roller Derby156

Crime City Rollers 104

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Philly Roller Derby of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. (Seed #3, WFTDA #9) came out strong against Crime City Rollers of Malmö, Sweden (Seed #4, WFTDA #11) in the penultimate game of the 2019 International WFTDA Playoffs Seattle. The stakes were high, with the winner of the game nabbing the third and final ticket to the 2019 International WFTDA Championships, hosted in Montréal, Québec, Canada in November. With an early surge, the Crime City Rollers tried to come back against the skaters in blue and black, but the strong blocking and jammer agility from PRD held the Crime City off and secured their birth to Championships.

Philly vs Crime Ctiy in Game 15 of the 2019 International WFTDA Playoffs: Seattle
Photo: Keith Bielat

In fact, Philly staked their claim on the jammer line by holding Crime City Rollers scoreless for the opening six jams of the game. It wasn’t until Hanna P took the star helmet cover and lead jammer status over Philadelphia’s long-time skater Persephone, that the tide started to change for Malmö skaters. Over the course of several jams, Crime City topped Philly, bringing the score to 39-28 with just over 12:00 left in the half.

In Jam 13, Philly blocker Traumagotchi held the Crime City jammer, and the jam ended scoreless, despite a jammer switch-out between the two skaters with the star-spangled helmet cover. From there on out, Philly dominated the scoreboard, especially when jammers Reptar and Rouse scored 11-0 in back-to-back jams. Crime City called a timeout with 2:54 left in the half, and the score stood at 62-43 in Philly’s favor. The pause of momentum didn’t help Crime City, and in the final jam of the half, Philly maintained their lead, extending it to 78-43.

Coming onto the track after halftime, Philly continued to assert their dominance on the track and on the scoreboard. With 22:00 left in the game, PRD topped Crime City 116-52, and the skaters from Malmö called a timeout. Philly’s continued blocker intensity from Anne Frankenstein, Ginger Vitis and Bilt Ta Split, held the Crime City jammers at bay. In the 15:00 minutes of the second half, Malmö put up 20 points to Philly’s 60. The lopsided scores continued into the remaining moments of the game, and Philly punched their ticket to Championships by defeating Crime City 156-104.

Philly Roller Derby
Photo: Anja Wettergren

– Shelly Shankya

Game 16 - Final

Denver Roller Derby (#1) v. Montreal Roller Derby (#2)

Denver Roller Derby256

Montreal Roller Derby 135

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The winner of the final game of the 2019 International WFTDA Playoffs Seattle had been decided well before the last jam. Denver Roller Derby of Denver, Colorado, U.S. (Seed #1, WFTDA #4) had a 121-point lead over Montréal Roller Derby of Montréal, Québec, Canada (Seed #2, WFTDA #8) after 59:30 of play. Both teams already had a berth at 2019 International WFTDA Championships in November, but that did not make the game any less competitive. Every single jam was a battle between the teams which have only met twice before (Denver winning both). But with less than a minute left and an official review underway, both teams belted out the chorus of Journey’s epic “Don’t Stop Believin’” together in a demonstration of derby love and respect that was a hallmark of this game.

These two teams fought for every point. The hits were brutal, the blocking was grueling and the jammers betrayed gravity as they danced within a millimeter of the line, or smoked blockers as they leapt over them. But between the intense game play were inter-team high fives, sometimes for a great hit or an amazing pirouette, sometimes just because it was roller derby.

The first few jams were a back-and-forth ping pong of lead. First Denver, then Montreal, then Denver, and then Montreal again, but then that was it for Montreal’s lead. Scald Eagle scored eight points and Montreal was never able to crest Denver’s lead again. They got close. The teams went into halftime with 25 points between them. It was quite surmountable.

Unfortunately, Denver’s equally swarming and immovable defense caught the Montreal jammers again and again while Denver’s deep jammer bench was able to gather points in quick succession often shutting Montreal out. Both teams had jammer penalties at inopportune times; Scald Eagle collected her 4th, 5th and 6th toward the end of the second period; do-si-doing in the penalty box with Miracle Whips for her 4th and 5th penalty.

Montreal’s ability to remain calm and focused in the face of an increasing score deficit enabled them to keep that differential closer than it might have been. Denver defeated Montreal 256-135.

Denver vs Montreal in Game 16 of the 2019 International WFTDA Playoffs: Seattle
Photo: Keith Bielat

Both teams advanced to the 2019 International WFTDA Championships from Nov. 15-17 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, to compete for the Hydra.

Montreal Roller Derby
Photo: Anja Wettergren

– Vile Love It

Visit 2019 International WFTDA Playoffs: Seattle Tournament Central