Steel City Roller Derby

2016 WFTDA D1 Playoffs: Columbia Central

2016 WFTDA D1 Playoffs: Columbia Central Photo credit: Danforth Johnson.

The next ten WFTDA Division 1 teams will battle it this weekend in Columbia, South Carolina, September 9th-11th. The top three finishing teams will join London, Texas, and Montréal in Portland this November to fight for the Hydra. This weekend will be the Playoff debut for Rainy City and Ann Arbor and you can read more about all the teams participating with our Columbia preview.

D1C: #10 Steel City irons #9 Ann Arbor, 258-205

D1C: #10 Steel City irons #9 Ann Arbor, 258-205 Photo credit: Louis Keiner/Tsunami Photo

COLUMBIA, SC – In a scrappy fight for the 9th place slot, Ann Arbor Derby Dimes and Steel City Roller Derby duked it out in a highly physical contest.  Ann Arbor came into the tournament seeded 9th and were looking to secure their seeding entry with this game against Steel City, even as the Steel Hurtin’ squad were keenly looking to move on up through their entry bracket placement with this game.

Eventually the weekend of play came to a close for the teams with Ann Arbor closing the docks to Steel City’s heavy delivery of points, 258-205.

D1C: #5 Crime City takes #10 Steel City, 241-100

D1C: #5 Crime City takes #10 Steel City, 241-100 Photo by Tsunami Photography

COLUMBIA, SC –  #10 seed, Steel City Roller Derby is no stranger to the 10 am Saturday game at playoffs, and their opponents, the #5 seed Crime City Rollers is familiar as well. Last year at the D1 tournament in Dallas, Crime City met their neighbors, Stockholm, in this game slot, and Crime (then the #10 seed) defeated Stockholm (then the 5 seed).

Today, Crime found themselves in Stockholm’s shoes, but after a brutal game and narrow loss against Atlanta yesterday, they were certainly not looking to repeat Stockholm’s fate.

D1C: #7 Rainy City corrodes #10 Steel City, 175-93

D1C: #7 Rainy City corrodes #10 Steel City, 175-93 Photo credit Tsunami Photography

COLUMBIA, SC – Rainy City Roller Derby made their Division 1 debut as the #7 seed against stalwart #10 seed Steel City with a bang, proving that their meteoric rise from #117 in April to their current #26 place in the WFTDA is no accident.

The squad from Manchester, UK played strongly and consistently throughout the game, with smart offensive work as well as major clock management discipline, courtesy of coach Mick Swagger, keeping Steel Hurtin’ at bay the entire game, finishing with a solid 175-93 win.

Both teams employed dynamic, rotating walls, with a special focus on a braced three wall defense, with one skater playing offense right off the line. Rainy City had the most success with that strategy, with cohesive play by blockers working edge to edge, and able to transition almost seamlessly between defense and offense, plugging holes, and bridging when needed.

2016 WFTDA D1 Playoffs: Columbia Preview

2016 WFTDA D1 Playoffs: Columbia Preview Photo credit: Regularman Photography.

The first weekend of Division 1 Playoffs in Montréal has set the bar high for the remaining D1 tournaments, and this coming weekend in Columbia looks like it will follow suit. Nearly half the games last weekend were won by an average of ten points, and five of the games were seeding upsets, which gives us a lot to look forward to.

This will be the post season debut for Rainy City and Ann Arbor, as they hit WFTDA playoffs for the first time, and the 2015 WFTDA Champs Rose City Rollers will top off the bracket. The top three finishers from this weekend will join London, Texas, and Montreal in Portland this November.