D1D 1st Place: #1 VRDL claims gold, #2 Texas walks away with silver, 193-50

D1D 1st Place: #1 VRDL claims gold, #2 Texas walks away with silver, 193-50 Photo credit: Michele J. Hale. michelejhale.com

DALLAS, TX – The first place game between the #1 seeded Victorian Roller Derby and the #2 seeded Texas was a physical battle for points and position. The two teams hadn’t met since The Big O 2016 in Eugene, OR where VRDL won 130-114. Though Victoria earned an early lead this time around that would not be challenged throughout the game, Texas kept things interesting with aggressive- a little bit old school- defense. VRDL ended the tournament with a gold medal, 193-50 with Texas taking silver.

For the initial jams, Texas traded points with Victoria, though always trailing slightly. However, Victoria was soon able to extend their lead after holding Texas scoreless for two consecutive jams. After 10 minutes of play, Victoria had built a lead, 23-15.

VRDL started each jam with one blocker, often their pivot within the Texecutioner wall disrupting their claim to the jam line. Victoria’s swarming defense proved effective at swallowing not only the opposing jammer but often the entire defensive line, forcing Texas to move toward the lines in order to clear a path for their own jammer to slide up the opposite side.

Photo credit: Quick'N'Derby

Photo credit: Quick’N’Derby

The Texas formation had a tendency to break up and start out a little loose, leaving room for VRDL’s jammers to find the inside line right off the whistle. However, their defense showed their strength by using tag-team style hits with one blocker hitting hard and a second blocker laying a followup hit on the jammer. While it did not often drive the opposing jammer out of bounds, it did offer enough time for Texas to reform.

At 14:37 left in the first half, Victoria called an official review for an embellishment penalty (for flopping) against the Texas jammer. Winning the review, it ended up being Stone Her who accrued the penalty after Hauss passed her the star, giving Lady Trample a power start that broke open the score 41-18. After VRDL’s push, Texas called a team timeout and sent out Freight Train who picked up their second lead jammer status of the game and seven points for Texas.

Victoria ended the half ahead of Texas, 90-32.

Play in the second half seemed to be an exaggeration of the style and problems that each team experienced in the first. Victoria maintained strong formations alternating between a tripod in order to keep one blocker dedicated for offense and an all-encompassing quad that dominated the track. Texas continued to dish out 1-2 hits, but as in the first half, relied on these individual efforts too often to truly slow VRDL’s advance. As the clock wound down, Texas’s line became more and more spread out allowing Victoria to push the score to 193-50.

Photo credit: Quick'N'Derby

Photo credit: Quick’N’Derby

Victoria and Texas will both left Dallas with their seedings intact and advance to Champs in Philadelphia this November.

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