SEATTLE, WA – In their first WFTDA Playoff tournament, #24-ranked 2×4 Roller Derby got to play three different kinds of games this weekend. Their first was a close game against #9 seed Windy City – a battle that got revenge for 2×4 over their previous much larger loss against the team. Next, they were pitted against the #1 seed and current Hydra holder, the Rose City Rollers. The team were outmatched against the Wheels of Justice, but used every tool in their toolbox and star passed their way to a valiant loss against a hard opponent.
Today the team took on #10 seed Ann Arbor in a consolation game, and dominated the Michigan team from start to finish, wrapping up their weekend with a 150-point win. Ann Arbor had only one game previously in the weekend – a 280-99 loss to Tampa on Friday – with a day off in between to prepare for this game. Penalties set Ann Arbor behind from the start, and after giving 2×4 everything they had, the team managed to break 100 points this time, with a 255-105 loss to Team Osom.
Ann Arbor started the game giving 2×4 first a power jam, and then a power start, to give them a 36-0 headstart.
In the third jam, Ann Arbor took the front line from 2×4, and Helen Killer skipped by the team for lead status. 2×4 showed yesterday that they have no hesitation to pass the star, and immediately got that star out of the pack with their pivot, following Killer. A bit offense by Mel Havelka sped up the front of the pack and got Ann Arbor a second lead status, from Fractured Mechanics – but in both of those leads they could only produce two points apiece.
Helen Killer earned what would be her first of a hefty six penalties this game. Which prompted 2×4’s swarming power jam offense to get Tropical Mecanica through for 14 points, with Helen stealing one point at the call off of the jam.
Ann Arbor tried to give offense off the start again in the following jam but the rest of the blockers didn’t follow as the front raced away, which left space for Lula Zan to speed out for lead. Another 14 points brought the score to 64-5, about ten minutes into the game.
While keeping their jammers on the track, Ann Arbor showed their defensive strength. While Fracture Mechanics proved to be their most successful jammer, earning lead status in every jam the first half, putting up multiple passes in some of them. With 17:41 on the clock, Ann Arbor took a timeout while still trailing the score, 68-9.
When 2×4 got lead and could hang onto the Ann Arbor jammer, the team seemed to average about three scoring passes before the Brawlstars could spring their jammer.
Ann Arbor also struggled with keeping their jammer on the track with Lezzie taking two penalties in the first jam, Terror Misu sitting in the box for both of her jams, and then Helen sat twice in one jam which bled into the next, giving 2×4 a power start. With about eight minutes left in the half, Ann Arbor’s jammers had more penalties than 2×4 had in total.
2×4’s blockers appeared to feel most comfortable starting the jam at the front, but they weren’t holding quite strong enough, allowing Lezzie Arnaz and Fracture to push through for lead multiple times.
While 2×4 continued to pass the star immediately, Ann Arbor let the jam go long to try and rack up points. Lezzie soon lost their advantage, however, when rotating to and from the penalty box, while trying this tactic. Her pivot, Dr. Maims U, saved them in the following jam, running up with the appearance of playing offense but just snagging the jammer star as they went by to help force the end of the jam.
By halftime, 2×4 led 138-47. They had managed to keep a completely clean first half for their jammers, only tallying nine penalties in total for their blockers. Direction of play still seems to be their penalty weakness, but the team also took a couple of back blocks in this game as they came up to play offense but slammed into the back of an Ann Arbor blocker instead.
Ann Arbor’s penalties were their biggest downfall this game, with Helen Killer and Lezzie Arnaz at four each already by the break, giving ten total power jams to 2×4 in the first half alone.
Fracture Mechanics’s height and strength combined with footwork continued to earn them lead status in the second half, and would end up claiming lead nine out of ten jams this game.
Unfortunately, Terror Misu’s third jam resulted in her going three for three in penalized jams. As the game went on, Ann Arbor was able to make small dents in the score, but penalties continued to hold them back.
With 13 minutes left in the game, Tropical Mecanica took their second jammer penalty of the game and Lezzie Arnaz scored 14 points, their highest scoring jam of the game. Unfortunately, this jam came after three jams added 52 points, bringing the score to 212-83, with 2×4 leading.
2×4 used Loba for a couple jams in their previous games, but they were put in their strict three-jammer rotation more often this game. Ann Arbor had to change their rotation up due to penalties and tried Jadzia Smax in the star as well. By game’s end, Fracture Mechanics outscored Tropical Mecanica 59-53, but Lula Zan topped all jammers with 104 points for 2×4.
Nobody managed to foul out of this game, but Inzy Mood and Helen Killer toed the line by a hair’s breadth with six penalties apiece, while Cruella juuust stayed in with six as well.
Ann Arbor kept 2×4 at only a 52.8% lead status overall this game, but 39 total penalties kept them from scoring more points. 2×4 finished their weekend 2-1 with this 255-105 victory, while Ann Arbor leaves Seattle with two losses.