Pac Destruction, Day 1: B’s In The Trap

Pac Destruction, Day 1: B’s In The Trap Photo by Matthew Becker Photography. www.mbeckerphoto.com

This year’s Pac Destruction features #8 Angel City Derby Girls hosting #6 Texas Rollergirls, #11 London Rollergirls, and #12 Rocky Mountain Rollerigrls for a round-robin weekend. The B teams for ACDG, Texas and Rocky kicked off the event with three games Friday night, to preview the epic weekend ahead. These games were not broadcast on WFTDA.tv, but their chartered counterparts will be starting at 12pm PDT Saturday and 11am PDT Sunday.

Did I mention epic weekends? So while last year this was the final weekend tournament of the June 30 cut-off for competitive rankings play, Pac Destruction this year was just a little earlier, and is competing with Beach Brawl and plenty of other more local games for attention.

Nonetheless, if you’ve been following the travels of the London Rollergirls as they take on California, you’d have already seen the score from their game against Bay Area. The European greats took down the #3-ranked team with a solid, almost exact doubling of BAD’s score.

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  Their encounter with #46 Santa Cruz was at least as impressive, with a nearly 300 point difference between the two teams. It’s clear that as bad as their Warrior 2 pose may be, the Londoners are poised to potentially storm Los Angeles, which makes this a tournament to watch. Like on WFTDA.tv.

Brawling gets their yoga on.

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It’s hard to predict how the weekend will go, because London hasn’t played sanctioned games since Champs last fall, they have been edged out of the top ten by the movement of other teams. Also, a depleted Bay Area (after a large number of retirements, and at least one transfer) may not accurately represent their #3 position, as they work to regroup this season. Texas is certainly full of added surprises, after a couple big-name greats transferred in their direction at the beginning of the season. Anticipate the ever-endearing Jackie Daniel’s lucky white shorts to make a splash on your screens this weekend.

The first of the games for the evening got kicked off at an early Friday time of 4:30pm PDT, and confirmed that Texas has more than just a charter team to keep an eye on. While the Angel City Shore Shots seemed outgunned by the Texas Firing Squad crew even from the very start, it’s worth also contextualising that with the fact that the Shore Shots are just one of two teams that Angel City has at the regional travel team level – part of their league competitive hierarchy, and a reason they have high levels of skaters at elite levels of play.

The game swerved rapidly into the hands of the Firing Squads, as they added point after point, holding the Shore Shots to their initial points grab of 6 points for jam after jam, the Shots only adding in one single further point in the first quarter.

Angel City Shore Shots vs Texas Firing Squad. Photo by Matthew Becker Photography.

Angel City Shore Shots vs Texas Firing Squad. Photo by Matthew Becker Photography.

Solid players who couldn’t be toppled were the ultimate dream machine on the track for the Firing Squad, as well as jammers who were low-skating and jukey while being prepared to repeatedly aim for apex grabs. Ultimately, although the Shots were able to take some lessons through the half-time break and aim for the stars, they got caught in the firing line, only being allowed tiny incremental additions through to the end, while the Firing Squad took on the triple century. Final score 310 to Shot’s 90.

The second game for the night was hard-hitting, and heavy on the solidity of blockers, especially if your home state was Texas. Although the Texas Firing Squad had a solid warm-up in their earlier game, with under an hour of between-game respite, they certainly didn’t play like a team worn. Rocky’s Contenders were well represented by team cheering, and vocal support from the crowd, but it was not to be their game in the end.

Olivia Shootin' John featured on the Firing Squad post-injury. Shore Shots vs Firing Squad. Photo by Matthew Becker Photography.

Olivia Shootin’ John featured on the Firing Squad post-injury. Rocky Mountain Contenders vs Texas Firing Squad. Photo by Matthew Becker Photography.

The Firing Squad proved their fondness for the number 6: points for their opposition to accrue before being emphatically stalled, that is. They held the Contenders to just those six points almost to the first quarter, before a tiny addition and then more and more slowly inched the Colorado team towards the half. Ultimately, that game control, along with the surprise appearance of an Olivia Shootin’ John, newly returned from injury, in a jamming role for Firing Squad, kept the points low for the Contenders. Final score reflected the obvious leaders for the night, with an almost doubled score of 227-109, for the Firing Squad.

Next game was to be much more of a wild card. While both teams were pre-gamed, and sweaty into the action of the night’s play, it was substantially later by the Colorado clock for a late evening game start of 9.30pm PDT. And Angel City’s Shore Shots were far better rested.

The resulting play was a tense, highly engaged game, with early lead changes, and tight points additions. By the half, though, despite a number of alternating smart plays and stellar leaps of faith in especially offensive strategy, the Contenders pulled ahead of the home team, entering the half not long after they hit the century mark, 109-50.

Angel City Shore Shots vs Rocky Mountain Contenders. Photo by Matthew Becker Photography.

Angel City Shore Shots vs Rocky Mountain Contenders. Photo by Matthew Becker Photography.

The second period began to little fanfare, and a visibly wearing teams on their second game for the evening as the night got later and later. The fade off at the end of each jam was the best clue to this, and each team was equally guilty. But the half-time debrief had simply solidified the Contenders determination and quiet game control, so that while the Shore Shots kept on fighting back with occasionally bold plays and notable offensive moves, they weren’t to get so much as close to equalising for the rest of the game. Final score 223-118, and the night came to a close with everyone keen to get on to the next days of play.

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