DALLAS, TX – The consolation game between the Philly Liberty Belles and the Santa Cruz Boardwalk Bombshells was a clash of two exceptionally disciplined defenses that never lost sight of each other. Jammers from both teams fought a war of attrition, with low scoring but long-running jams that left them either pushing against walls that wouldn’t budge or knocked out and dragged far behind the pack. Strong performances from Herrmann Monster and Buenos D. A$$ proved the deciding factor as Philly held on to defeat Santa Cruz 156-106.
After five scoreless minutes that featured more recycling than the plot of a Garfield comic strip, it was Mystery Violence Theater who put the first three points on the board for Santa Cruz, calling the jam as they found themselves blocked into the infield. Herrmann Monster responded in the next jam with four points for Philly, making their way past Hell Louise before calling it off as Santa Cruz’s Skirt Vonna-Gut made their approach.
A hit from Santa Cruz pivot Ace Wenchura appeared to halt Buenos D. A$$’s progress on their initial pass, but a low block assessed to Ace gave Buenos an opening to pick up lead status. Santa Cruz’s Queen Litigious couldn’t quite make it past a tough Philly tripod, but a forearm penalty from Buenos and a star pass to a returning Ace allowed Santa Cruz to put up five points to Philly’s ten.
ZipBlok ended up being one of Philly’s most effective blockers both offensively and defensively, proving a crucial last line of defense by knocking Santa Cruz’s TARAism out and stringing them back from the front of the pack to far behind it. Philly jammer Voltairine de Sleyre capitalized on that defense, emerging on a no-pass and making multiple passes before TARAism handed their helmet cover to Hell Louise. A blistering hit from Philly’s Russian Bayou capped Santa Cruz’s advances and the jam expired at a 14-4 advantage to Philly, putting the score at 44-17.
A track cut from Philly’s Rousey gave Santa Cruz’s Yeti or Not, Here I Come the chance to make up ground, making three passes for thirteen points before calling the jam on Rousey’s return. Both teams proved adept with counter-offense throughout the game, often dedicating a fourth blocker to defending the integrity of their tripod against challengers. Philly held TARAism for a full 45 seconds on a penalty kill for Voltairine de Sleyre, while Santa Cruz put up impressive counter-offense of their own just a few jams later as Philly tried in vain to create opportunities for Buenos D. A$$.
Effective offense from Ace Wenchura gave Mystery Violence Theater the chance to pick up seven more points for Santa Cruz as Herrmann Monster got recycled back through the pack. Eventual pack dissipation from Santa Cruz gave Herrmann an initial pass and gave MVT a reason to call the jam. A single point from TARAism closed the half with Philly leading Santa Cruz 65-48.
The second half started with a rematch between Mystery Violence Theater and Herrmann Monster, but this time Herrmann gave up lead jammer status on a forearm. Philly’s defense prevented MVT from taking full advantage of the power jam, blocking an apex jump and then sweeping them to either side. A returning Herrmann ran into a long rewind from both teams but gave Philly a 9-3 advantage as the jam reached its natural conclusion, putting the score at 74-51.
An impressive display of balance from Mystery Violence Theater couldn’t withstand a hit from ZipBlok, as MVT picked up a track cut and Buenos D. A$$ outlasted Santa Cruz’s relentless recycling for twelve points. Pack gridlock and some jammer defense from TARAism couldn’t stop Rousey from picking up lead status and four points but opted not to call the jam off as TARAism emerged, lapping the pack for another five. Yeti or Not, Here I Come picked up a quick four points to cap a 34-7 run for Santa Cruz that put the score at 113-97 that appeared to threaten the lead Philly had held for all but one jam of the game until that point.
Herrmann Monster picked up 30 of their 54 points in the last five jams as Philly’s defense regrouped to paralyze Santa Cruz’s jammers, ending the game on a 43-13 run to give Philly the victory, 156-106.