(Photos By Bob Dunnell – Click on the image to enlarge)
(IRVING, TX) The primary travel team for Arch Rival Roller Derby (ARCH) will have some extra weight in their skater bags when returning home from a Lone Star State tourney this week and will start preparing for future travel plans.
ARCH, currently ranked eighth internationally, entered the 12-team bracketed tournament as the weekend’s third seed. St. Louis recorded a 2-1 record and their finish replicated their seed.
In a Saturday quarterfinal contest, Arch Rival topped sixth-seeded Queen City, 339-123, and in the process claimed an automatic berth to the WFTDA Division 1 Championships held later this year. Later that evening at the event’s semifinals, ARCH fell to second-seeded Texas, 209-119.
ARCH (6-5) now continues their post-season with an appearance at the WFTDA Division 1 Championships, held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at a quarterfinal play-in game against the London Rollergirls on Friday, November 3.
“We’re going to keep training really hard, put in some extra time and be on the track as much as possible,” said ARCH All-Star jammer Bolt Action of the upcoming preparation. “Tweaking all of our plays and making sure that everything is locked down and ready for Philly.”
SUNDAY THIRD PLACE GAME: ARCH RIVAL 186 MINNESOTA 91
The two Midwestern teams, respectively seeded third and fourth heading into the weekend, are familiar with each other as competitors – dating back to the late-2000s – which meant that both knew how to prepare for each other in the showdown.
“I think we knew how to tap into their weaknesses and really just take it to them and not let them get a strong hold,” assessed ARCH co-captain Bricktator in a post-game online interview. “What they’re best at is once they grab you, they are really good at setting in but if you can keep them moving, then you’re more in control.
The veteran, high-scoring skater had plenty of opportunity to closely watch the game as a knee injury occurred during Saturday night’s semifinals against Texas led to her absence. In hindsight, it proved to be the right move for the Gateway City rollers as overall team depth, paced by a smothering defense, still resulted in the comfortable win.
Trailing 3-1 after two jams, Arch Rival gained six straight lead jams resulting in a 30-0 rally. Jammer Harmony Killerbruise scored 16 points in the third rotation, resulting in a 17-3 scoreboard flip in favor of St. Louis. Two jams later, Annie Swanson added nine to push the score to 26-3.
Meanwhile, ARCH’s stubborn blocking schema – paced by Cloak N’ DragHer, Kayla Woodward, Shimmy Hoffa, CupQuake, Shear-Ra Powers, Smarty McFly, Vicious van GoGo, Salty, Smarty McFly, Grant and Fletcher – kept the clamp down on Minnesota’s offense and with an extra five points posted near the end of the run, Arch Rival’s lead blossomed to 31-3 twelve minutes in.
Minnesota’s Second Hand Smoke snared four in Jam 9 to break the silence but St. Louis’ Bolt Action notched nine in the next rotation to extend ARCH’s lead to 40-7.
Scoring was minimal as the period progressed but the differential was comparable. Arch Rival maintained a 45-15 lead with less than ten minutes left in the half.
Double-digit jams returned to the fold in the latter stretches of the period. Swanson posted a dozen that pushed the score to 57-15 and Action added 9-2 rotation with 7:30 remaining as the ARCH’s lead swelled to 66-17.
Minnesota made a valiant attempt to shore the score as Smoke gathered seven in Jam 19 but Arch Rival’s Reptar quickly quashed the momentum and posted ten with 4:25 left in the period as ARCH pushed the score to 76-24.
In the period’s final minutes, St. Louis widened the differential and held a 90-34 lead at intermission.
Second verse same as the first as ARCH scored 15 from the starting whistle. During the run, Swanson posted six and Action added nine to widen the score to 105-34.
Leading 122-53 with 17:15 left, Arch Rival took advantage of a Minnesota jammer penalty and capitalized with Swanson’s 16-point power jam with that pushed the score to 136-53. An additional nine from Acton in the next rotation as St. Louis lead grew to 145-53.
Down the stretch, Minnesota was never able to narrow the differential as Arch Rival’s 96-57 advantage in second period scoring resulted in St. Louis’ 95-point bronze medal victory in the playoff held deep in the heart of Texas.
“Today my goal was to keep my feet moving and not make any stupid plays or get desperate,” said Action, who paced ARCH scoring with 65 points. “I tried to be on the track move forward as much as possible rather than making risky plays and getting called out on it.”
ARCH RIVAL SCORING: Bolt Action 65, Annie Swanson 52, Harmony Killerbruise 43, Reptar 26.
SATURDAY SEMIFINAL: TEXAS 209 ARCH RIVAL 119
The contest, which determined an opponent against inevitable gold medalist Victorian, was defined by Texas’ surge late in the first period.
Leading 19-12 after four jams, Texas’ Freight Train collected a 10-point power jam with 24:30 left in the first period that stretched the Lone Star State’s lead to 29-12. After Arch Rival jammer Bricktator helped slice the score to 29-16 with a four-point punch with 21:40 left in the frame.
Texan vet Olivia Shootin’ John’s ten-point strike extended the score to 39-16 with twenty minutes remaining.
Jammer penalties continued to mount for both squads. ARCH was able to capitalize via Bolt Action’s nine-pointer power jam that narrowed the score to 44-25 then the script was flipped on the next rotation and John produced a nine-point retort that pushed the score to 53-25 with 14:20 left in the period.
As the final minutes of the first half ticked away, Train’s 15-pointer collected with 6:30 pushed the score to 91-47 and with a 26-7 late-stretch run, the Texicutioners possessed an117-54 advantage at intermission.
ARCH picked up the pace in opening stages of the second and produced a 21-1 run and narrowed the score to 118-69 after Reptar snared a pair of points with under 24:00 left. Annie Swanson added six on the next rotation to make the score 118-75 at the 22:10 mark.
A pair of Texas 20-point power jams – Train’s with a dozen minutes left and John’s that followed, pushed the differential to triple-digits.
The Texicutioners outscored Arch Rival, 92-62, in the second period to pick up the semifinal victory and push ARCH to the aforementioned bronze medal game.Train paced Texas’ scoring with 95 points.
ARCH RIVAL SCORING: Annie Swanson 44, Bolt Action 30, Harmony Killerbruise 23, Bricktator 12, Reptar 10.
SATURDAY QUARTERFINAL: ARCH RIVAL 339 QUEEN CITY 123
In the Saturday afternoon quarterfinal victory that punched their ticket to the WFTDA Championships, St. Louis scored early and often and delivered a lethal knockout midway through the second half en route to the overwhelming win over the Buffalo, New York-based Lake Effect Furies.
Leading 28-7 after six jams, ARCH churned a 58-8 spread over the next three rotations. Book-ended by jams of 27 points by Swanson and 22 from Killerbruise, St. Louis’ lead blossomed to 86-19 with 17:35 left in the period. Psychokid D’ Freakout added a 14-8 rotation on the next flight that made the score 100-27.
Arch Rival possessed a 174-90 lead at intermission…but St. Louis was just warming up.
After stretching the score to 185-109 after the second period’s first five rotations, ARCH produced a mind-melting 125-1 run that overthrew Queen City.
Multi-lap passes became the norm during the stretch. Bolt Action’s 20-pointer was the highlight, which stretched Arch Rival’s lead to 248-109 with 14:10 remaining. When the dust had settled on the triple-digit roller romp, ARCH possessed a bi-centennial differential 310-110 with six minutes left.
Meanwhile, Arch Rival’s defense put the lock down on the New Yorkers, limiting them to about a third of the points they earned in the first half. St. Louis outscored Queen City 165-33 in the second period to post the 216-point quarterfinal duke.
ARCH RIVAL SCORING: Harmony Killerbruise 88, Bricktator 76, Annie Swanson 74, Bolt Action 62, Psychokid D’ Freakout 39
TOTAL PLAYOFF SCORING (3 GAMES): Annie Swanson 170, Bolt Action 157, Harmony Killerbruise 154, Bricktator 88, Psychokid D’ Freakout 39, Reptar 36
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