CLEVELAND,OH — After a couple back and forth lead changes to start the game, #3 seed Columbia QuadSquad led #8 Jet City Rollergirls for a majority of the bout, with the Bombers always on their trail. Columbia’s cohesion in the pack is what kept them ahead, but Jet City’s offense is what won the game by 1 point, 134-133.
#3 Columbia (#46) and #8 Jet City (#57) met last year on day 1 of the Division 1 bracket when they were the #8 and #9 seeds respectively, and had much different results. Jet City had also just flown in that morning, playing shortly after getting to the venue, which may have contributed to their 130-99 loss to the QuadSquad.
With a good night’s sleep this time around, Jet City became that annoying fly that just won’t go away, no matter how many times you swat it. In the first jam Columbia secured the back line which helped Violet Poison escape the pack first, and upon her returned swooped around the speeding pack to pick up the first 4 points.
The following jam was a lead call for Whoa Nellie! and Jet City, but Chuck-Town Bruiser forced her out at the back, resulting in just 1 point. Chic-lets Rock found the 3 points she missed after that, with the help of Nasty Nikki Nightstick’s offense. Joy Recc-Her stashed the star, the first of many by Columbia, to get out of the pack and put the pressure on the lead jammer.
The Quad Squad kept Jet City at those five points for the next four jams however, and their nimble jammers sped through loose Bomber packs to push ahead by 19 points. Columbia seemed to stick to more of a flat wall off the line, moving into a braced wall once the jammer started pushing. When they had control, it was devastatingly slow-going for Jet City’s jammers.
Jet City took more risks, starting the jam with an offensive player poised near the opposing defense. It aided in their jammers slipping by along the line, but also left their packs a bit scattered if they couldn’t find their way back together quick enough.
With few penalties on either side almost 15 minutes in, the packs stayed slow and effective, keeping jams at 0-0 or forced to end with a star stash, keeping scoring runs at 8 or 9 points. Success in this game came down to who could get lead, and who could control the speed of the pack.
Jet City found their opportunity while they were down by 12 points when Columbia picked up the first jammer penalty of the game. With lead, Ivana Hercha got knocked around at the front of the pack, resulting in a cut and a full length jam. Power jams cooled until the end of the half, making gameplay return to strong defense and low-scoring jams. Columbia stretched their lead to 20 points at one point, but Jet City kept springing back, and with 6 minutes left, QuadSquad was ahead 48-34.
Jet City received another power jam, but couldn’t seem to hang on to the opportunity as they gave it right back to Columbia. Ivana’s blockers tried to pick blockers off, but when Columbia kept working her over she was forced on a cut. At the end of 2 minutes, Columbia earned 8 to the Bomber’s 4.
Jet City put ILL-Ninja on the jammer line for the first time, which succeeded in getting them 4 more points, and with more by Eva Derci, they were down by just ten points. In the last jam of the half, Whoa Nellie! cut her way to the box, but appeared to get out of the pack first, so Violet Poison stashed the star as she had the whole game. When she caught up with the situation, she threw it back on but it meant there would be no lead jammer. The intensity amped up and things got a bit more chaotic than they had been, and a beat up Poison resigned herself to directing blockers between speedy passes. At the half, Columbia held their largest lead, 74-49.
Momentum was shared back and forth in the second half, but kept returning to a 10 point spread at times. Violet Poison, who’s jersey had her last name on it, Quick, was indeed fast at everything she did. She juked people backwards, accelerated out of the pack as soon as holes opened up, and when she wasn’t lead, it was as if the jammer panty magically disappeared. She also quickly racked up penalties, and with 5 in the second half, she also helped in the pack as pivot.
Jet City ran into penalty problems in their first game yesterday against Oklahoma, with 3 people fouling out and one more skater finishing with 6. This game was much cleaner for them, which helped them lockdown on defense. Nasty Nikki Nightstick and Chantilly Cream often caught opposing jammers at the front at the last second, allowing their teammates to recycle up and absorb them.
With under 15 minutes left in the game, Jet City pushed their way to just an 8-point deficit, and the intensity of the game began to heighten again. That may have added to desperate jammers taking risky actions, and the teams traded jammer penalties for three jams. Despite Jet City receiving more power jams, Columbia’s defense helped kill the penalties and instead pushed their lead to 133-104 with less than 7 minutes to go.
As before, QuadSquad couldn’t shake the Bombers, and Eva Derci, Whoa Nellie! and Chic-lets Rock chipped away at the lead, bringing it back to an 8-point game with 2:13 frozen on the clock with a Jet City timeout. Their coach, Tre LeTrash clearly had a plan for the final minutes of the game, and helped patiently lead his team towards their win.
Poison Violet took the line against Chic-lets Rock and instead stayed in the pack to help play a bit of defense. Chic slipped out ahead of her however, and after Poison passed the star, the new jammer caught held up and Chic pulled off a grand slam before getting stuck herself and calling it.
Eva Derci finished out the game jamming the last 3 consecutive jams, and first snuck up the inside line for lead and a quick 4 points as a speeding Poison tried to catch her. After a Columbia timeout, and a one point lead by Jet, Eva quickly got lead again, but ended the jam immediately, but not before Do U Juana earned a cut. With 24 seconds left on the period clock, Columbia took another timeout.
During this time, the Bombers consulted with Tre some more, and in the final jam had a clearly set plan. They had the pack advantage with four blockers to Columbia’s two, but had to get lead jammer to control the final seconds of the game. At the whistle, 3 Jet blockers raced backwards about five feet while Nasty Nikki held her position. As Eva Derci attacked the Columbia blockers, Nasty Nikki took a knee, taking the penalty to break the pack, and giving her jammer lead status. She skated out the rest of the period, and called off the jam for a 1-point win for Jet City.
The Bombers will play again today against #7 St. Chux (#54) at 6pm (EDT), while the QuadSquad plays for 9th place tomorrow at 10am (EDT).
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