Bout Recap: (13) Bay Area 45 @ (4) Carolina 74

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Please realize, first and foremost, that I’m a week overdue on this assignment. I worked the bout in question, and was kept quite busy by the action on the track: as such my distinct recollections are few and far between. Though Carolina’s home stats team was kind enough to share some of their numbers with me between periods, I am still left with a lot of gaping and seemingly-unrecoverable memory lapses. Post-Thanksgiving food coma, hangover, and currently-in-progress beers may have negative effects upon brain power as well (further research is needed before this can be established as fact). In the meantime, gonzo journalism may be the only practical solution.

The following statements are true: 4th-ranked Carolina Rollergirls faced off against 13th-ranked B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls on the evening of November 17th at the Dorton Arena in Raleigh, NC. Dorton is, without a doubt, the most attractive derby venue that this writer has ever laid eyes on. The building seems to have been designed with the same quasi-futuristic sensibilities in mind that elsewhere produced such contemporary structures as Disney’s Epcot Center – but with a much stronger eye for normalcy. The local folk will tell you that if you visit the arena at the right time of day during the right time of year, and the blue glass windows catch the sun just right, you’ll be treated to a spectacle that is nearly as beautiful as it is blinding.

By the time the action started on the floor this past Saturday, however, the sun had already been down for some time and no such natural phenomena would be present. In any event, the near-capacity crowd of 1700+ local fans was hoping to see a dazzling display on the track itself rather than through the windows above them. Their home team was up to the challenge: by taking a first-period lead of 32-21 into the locker room and employing a suffocating defense in the later stages of the game, Carolina sent the visitors back to their hotel on the wrong side of a 74-45 final score.

The following statements are vague hints of memories bolstered by hearsay, conjecture, and a few difficult-to-transcribe notes: Carolina jammer Princess America, one of this writer’s favorite skaters in the country, scored (at least) 15 points in (at least) three first-period jams. This seems likely to have given her the period’s top output among jammers. Bay Area’s top scorer in the early going was (probably) Miss Moxxxie, who equalled Princess America’s 10-point effort in the tenth jam.

It remains unclear whether Princess would have preserved the scoring lead throughout the remaining 40 minutes of action: fellow CRG jammer Denise Lightning had a number of productive spins of her own as the game wore on. Lightning’s first-period output may have been hampered by penalty trouble – she was sent to the box on two occasions – but she cleaned up her play and only visited the sin bin once more in the remainder of the bout. Conversely, Princess America was called on a greater number of infractions as the action progressed, and was required to serve time in each of the later periods.

Bay Area blocker Killer Vee set up shop in the penalty box midway through the final period, after receiving her 4th minor as well as two majors within moments of each other. She spent her rare three-minute sentence in the box with her feet up on another chair and her hands knitted behind her head, relaxing until her eventual release. Vee would find herself ejected from the period shortly thereafter, having picked up yet another major.

She would not be lonely, however, for her teammate Sassy Slayher filled her own quota of majors with a track cut and was removed from the action by Carolina head ref Voodoo. Sassy sees near-constant action as a pivot and jammer for Bay Area, but the two would watch the bout’s final jams from the sidelines, unable to help their team break holes in Carolina’s pack.

In all, just 17 points were scored in the bout’s third period. With a solid lead of 64/38 in place by the end of the second, Carolina resolved to abandon offense in favor of the defensive game that helped them on the road to the WFTDA Championship tournament this past September. Tight packwork and jammer-on-jammer blocking kept points off the screboard as the tradeoff worked well once again: though Carolina’s skaters were only able to scrape together 10 points for themselves, they held their opposition to a mere 7 in the bout’s final twenty minutes. Along with a preexisting 26-point lead, this would prove to be more than adequate to keep the game out of Bay Area’s reach.

Carolina’s next action is a highly-anticipated home rematch with the Kansas City Roller Warriors on 12/2. The Roller Warriors, currently ranked #1 in the country, emerged victorious the last time these teams met in a 116-108 decision at the 2007 Nationals tournament. On the horizon for Bay Area is the 12/8 conclusion of their 2007 regular season, when the SF ShEvil Dead face off against the Richmond Wrecking Belles to determine San Francisco’s intramural champs.

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