JACKSONVILLE, FL — Game 15 between the #5 seed Tampa Roller Derby and #6 seed Detroit Derby Girls saw evenly matched talent, strength, and penalty tallies. Where both teams separated however, was in the score. Tampa flexed their muscles early on in the first half, breaking Detroit’s wall by picking it apart with the effort of everybody on the track. Detroit, able to hold their own, trickled behind in points and tried matching Tampa’s heavy artillery by physically matching block to block and bridging tightly while allowing star stashes and star passes to deter Tampa’s momentum.
Tampa came into this game having won narrowly against #8 seed Steel City Roller Derby while Detroit rolled in with a big win over #9 seed Pikes Peak Derby Dames. Both teams are able to hold a very physically tough game, which made the 5th place fight a very intense show. Feta Sleeze was the first to score this game, earning just a single point for Detroit, followed by a full 4 points by Laryn Kill and Tampa.
Scoring continued to flip flop a few more jams, until Taz Maniac was able to score 12 points, pushing Tampa’s lead to 21-4. Feta Sleeze, the only jammer who could pick up lead status for Detroit at this point, added another 4 points, followed by Swift Justice’s first lead and a 7 point addition.
Detroit had to grind their way up the rankings from last year’s D2 performance which showed well on the track. Tampa skated smooth and with one mind in all their decisions, which was mostly able to stall Detroit with defensive maneuvers like the web-work wall. Things stayed pretty evenly matched for awhile again, even with Tampa’s Smooth Operator picking up a jammer penalty, her blockers kept Feta to just 4 points, and 5 for Meryl Slaughterburgh who had a power start.
A power jam for Ana Cheng and Tampa gave them 10 more points, doubling Detroit’s score at 50-25 entering the second quarter of the game. Besides an 18-point jam by Feta Sleeze, they had a hard time putting up points for the rest of the half, while Tampa saw a 14-point jam for Laryn Kill, 9 points by Taz, and 15 more by Kill.
By halftime the score sat at 99-55 in favor of Tampa. The score reflected Tampa’s ability to take advantage over Detroit’s jammers lack of lead and multi-pass points. In the last meeting of these two teams, Tampa capitalized on points 186 -125 in early 2014.
Feta Sleeze had done the heavy lifting in points with 35 by half-time, and Laryn Kill was able to answer back with 37 points. The first few jams back were at an advantage for Tampa while Detroit’s defense pulled back, and they utilized a point grab and call off strategy. In the 4th jam of the second period, Tampa pushed and extended their lead with Ana Cheng, Little A, Taz Maniac, and Smooth Opperator working as a well-oiled jammer rotation.
It was clear in the second half that Tampa’s defense was the highlight and main credit to the lack of Detroit’s score with Lunch Lady holding it down in the pack. For Detroit, it was Racer McChaser and Murder City Mistress who did most of the damage on defense.
Tampa was able to maintain and then extend their lead in the second half, allowing them to finish on top 220-80 and taking 5th place. Detroit also kept their seeding by taking 6th place.