(Story by Muckety Muck – Photos by Bob Dunnell)
(A CORUNA, SPAIN) For a weekend competing in Spain, Arch Rival Roller Derby’s most powerful phase uttered was in Latin.
Translated to English, it means, “I came. I saw. I conquered.”
And for the St. Louis-based All-Stars competing at the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) global playoff round held at Palacio de los Deportes de Riazor this past weekend, they hit the trifecta.
Entering the 12-tame bracketed tournmanet as the top seed, victories over Philly (357-58), Rainy City (300-118) and a triumph over #10 Crime City (342-149) in the weekend’s finale gave ARCH their first-ever gold medal in WFTDA post-season play.
Propelled by the walls built by blockers Kayla Woodward, Smarty McFly, Shear-Ra Powers, Cloak N’ Drag-Her, Vicious Van GoGo, Jamheiser Bush, Bolt Action , Grant, LuxFurious, Pegasass and Fletcher, ARCH (7-3) collectively outscored their opponents 999-315 as they advanced to November’s WFTDA International Championships.
At the tournament’s conclusion, Arch Rival co-captain Bricktator was named Most Valuable Player for the weekend.
SUNDAY GOLD MEDAL GAME: ARCH RIVAL 342 CRIME CITY 149
Four lead jams claimed by Arch Rival resulted in a 30-0 game opening rally. Following Bricktator’s four-point launcher, Annie Swanson tacked on a nine-pointer that resulted in a 9-0 score.
Psychokid D’Freakout followed with an 18-point rotation in Jam 3 that pushed the score to 27-0 and Reptar’s trey at the 24:00 mark made the lead blossom to 30-0.
Arch Rival maintained a 59-14 lead ten minutes in but Crime City, ranked tenth internationally by the WFTDA, quickly sliced into the deficit with Hanna P’s power jam that resulted 19 points uncontested and a 59-31 score at the 19:10 mark.
Both teams scored comparable points as the period progressed and ARCH held a 96-68 advantage heading into Jam 14. Following a Crime City timeout, D’Freakout scored 17 on the ensuing rotation that swelled ARCH’s lead to 113-68.
St. Louis concluded the half’s final six minutes with a dominant 55-8 stretch run. Highlighted by D’Freakout’s dozen scored in Jam 18 and finished by Swanson’s eight-pointer with goose eggs on the board, Arch Rival possessed a 182-80 comfortable lead at intermission.
The triple-digit differential rapidly expanded as Bricktator’s 20-point period launcher was followed by Swanson’s 17-point strike that widened ARCH’s lead to 219-83.
Midway through the second frame, Arch maintained a 257-105 lead and passed the tri-centennial mark with three minutes left.
Arch Rival outscored Crime City in the second period 160-77 to claim the 342-149 gold medal victory in A Coruna.
SATURDAY SEMIFINAL: ARCH RIVAL 300 RAINY CITY 118
Manchester, United Kingdom’s Rainy City, ranked twelfth globally and the weekend’s fourth seed, aimed to keep pace with Arch Rival but quickly found themselves behind the 8-ball as Bricktator scored 15 points in the opening rotation.
Swanson followed with a four-point pass that pushed the score to 19-0. Ten minutes deep, Arch Rival had extended their lead to 43-6.
Arch Rival countered with a 46-4 rally over the next four jams. Swanson snared lead and scored nine with ten minutes left to push the score to 81-37. D’Freakout and Bricktator score four and five points, respectively, to extend the game to 90-37.
Swanson finished the run in Jam 17 with an 18-4 rotation that resulted in St. Louis’ 108-41 lead with four minutes left.
With 21:00 left, ARCH capitalized on another Rainy City jammer miscue that resulted in a nine-point power jam for Bricktator that widened the score to 194-65.
Leading 257-108 with five minutes left, St. Louis put a resounding exclamation point on the affair with their 43-10 stretch run that was highlighted with Bricktator’s 28-pointer in the game’s penultimate jam.
Arch Rival outscored Rainy City, 139-61, in the second half to pick up the semifinal win.
FRIDAY QUARTERFINAL: ARCH RIVAL 357 PHILLY 58
After a scoreless first rotation, Swanson’s nine-pointer resulted in a 9-0 edge. D’ Freakout’s 15-9 rotation in Jam 3 pushed the score to 24-9.
As the period progressed, the differential widened. Reptar added a baker’s dozen in Jam 12 that expanded the score to 62-13 halfway through the period.
A 20-20 push in Jam 15 made the score 110-33 with 9:30 left in the half, but then came the aforementioned scoring streak. St. Louis held a 184-33 lead at intermission.
St. Louis broke the bi-centennial mark five minutes into the period as Van GoGo collected an eight-pointer in Jam 3 that made the score 206-39.
ARCH eclipsed the tripe-century mark with Bricktator’ 23-pointer collected with nine minutes left that made the score 303-54.
ARCH outscored Philly, 173-25, in the second half en route to the 299-point quarterfinal win.
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