DALLAS, TX – The black and yellow Sun State Swarm took on the white and gold Rideau Valley in Game 2, which made the game Australia versus Canada. With about a dozen jammer penalties for each team, each had opportunities to push the score, but Sun State was able to pull away enough in the first half to carry through to the end. Swarm’s slower, more controlled defense may have been what maintained their lead through the second half, but Rideau Valley didn’t go down with a lack of offense. Sun State took the game 190-118 in their first win of their first playoff experience, sending Rideau Valley to the consolation bracket.
Each team started with a 3-jammer rotation – up first was Lady Killer for the Swarm against Soul Rekker for Rideau Valley. Like their Victorian neighbors to the south, Sun State showed off some braced-boxed blocking to contain Rekker while Lady Killer escaped for lead and 4 quick points.
The next jam had dueling power jams as first Melanie Austin was sent to the box, but Jambi followed her with a back block before she could sit down. The two minute jam turned a little chaotic as the pack sped up and spread out, both teams trying to simultaneously play offense and stop the jammer. After Trauma Junkie earned lead in the next jam, Sun State held the lead 18-8 after 5 minutes.
The next handful of jams kept going in that vein, with more power jams and a series of lead changes. First the Rideau Valley Vixens got their own power jam, but Sun State’s quick recycling helped kill the penalty, and Soul Rekker called the jam right as Lady Killer was released from the box. While Sun State had a 4:2 pack advantage to follow, they got the next power jam but it was deja vu time again as Austin was followed by Jambi to the box again and they had to finish out another 2-minute jam. This time however, Jambi was forced on another cut and Austin waded through Sun State’s heavy defense to bring it to a 1 point game.
With all 4 back on the floor for each team, Rideau Valley showed again how quick they could run back a jammer, sending Trauma Junkie to the back of the pack while Shania Pain plowed through Sun State’s wall for lead. With a 5 point pass, Rideau Valley took the lead 28-24 with under 20 minutes left in the half.
With penalties coming under control on both sides, the game stayed tight and Lady Killer earned the lead back for Sun State after a slow initial pass. Sun State held on to Soul Rekker while Lady picked up 5 points. Austin picked up both lead jammer and the game lead in a fast and loose pack next, putting the Vixens back on top by 1 point.
Shania Pain followed Trauma Junkie quickly out of the pack next, forcing the call and that would be the last jam that Rideau Valley would hold the lead as Sun State started to pull away in the second quarter of the game.
Dodge & Bolt entered the jammer lineup for the Swarm next and she put up 7 points to take the lead back for Sun State. Rideau Began to struggle with some blcoker penalties, which took their focus away from helping their jammer, meaning that the rotating box of death by Sun State stuck to their jammers.
Rideau saw a bit of daylight when they received a power jam, but it ended prematurely with a Sun State skater who went down hard. She didn’t stay down long, however, and Soul Rekker got a power start next, but ended up taking a seat in the box with a cut instead. She cycled back almost immediately which mean Sun State got a double power jam, and extended their lead to 61-34, nearing the 10 minute mark.
To get some of their penalty heavy jammers out of the mix, Sun State continued to add in different jammers, and tried out Polly Crackers next, and she picked up a quick 5 points before Soul Rekker could get around to score.
The next stretch of jams stayed about a minute each as someone would get lead and the other would be following closely behind. Each team inched up a few points with about a 30-point gap staying between them. Sun State widened it a bit more right before halftime with another power jam, and at the break they were up 90-47.
The jammer penalties continued into the start of the second half, split about evenly, but Rideau began to play a bit more scattered, with blockers going for 1 on 1 backwards hits, but still able to snag jammers and find their teammates again to reform. After Lady Killer picked up another 2 consecutive cuts, she passed the star to Jambi to end the run by Rideau Valley. Sun State then took a time out to regroup while still holding the lead, 103-68.
The pause helped switch the momentum back to The Swarm, as they got a power jam of their own when Rideau Valley’s Sister Disaster took the star for the first time and sat with a cut. Shania Pain stayed successful for the Canadians, but with opposing jammers hot on her trail she couldn’t do much to make up their deficit.
With 11 more power jam points by Trauma Junkie, followed by 10 more points by Dodge & Bolt, Sun State pushed into a 62-point lead with 17 minutes left.
Rideau Valley’s blockers continued to lay hard, destructive hits and did everything they could to help their jammers, although sometimes just getting in the way of their jammer. When Sun State got sped up and spread out, Rideau jammers found an easy path, but when they were in control, they worked very well together and kept the pace to a crawl.
Rideau Valley’s opportunity opened up in the final 10 minutes of the game, as about 4 jams in a row were power jams, but despite holding Sun State at 190 for 6-straight jams, they could only add on 2o points. So by the end of the game, Sun State had the win 196-118.
They advance to the quarter final round against #2 seed Texas, while Rideau Valley gets to rest tonight and play first thing tomorrow at 10am CDT.
Keep up with all the action this weekend with our recaps and score updates at Dallas Central.