MILWAUKEE, WI–If thereâ€™s any team getting close to earning the feared cyborg reputation enjoyed by Gotham, itâ€™s Bay Area. At any given time on the track, itâ€™s not uncommon to see the Golden Girls stripped completely of emotion as they systematically destroy their opponents, much like Gothamâ€™s hive mind is famous for doing–and with a solid jamming rotation firmly in place, 2013 has well and truly been Bay Areaâ€™s year.
Starting out the season with a solid win against Sacred, Bay Area quickly followed up with a win against Rose City on Roseâ€™s home turf, 175-146. The next three games saw Bay Area extend their margins, beating Montreal by 95 and Philly by 111. By June, the team was capable of trouncing Charm City by 402 points.
In July, Bay Area competed in the third annual Golden Bowl; they were able to rack up their third win in as many events over Texas, but fell to both Windy and Denver.
By the time WFTDAâ€™s September rankings came out, Bay Area had climbed from #4, where they had been all year, to WFTDA #2: nice and cozy under Gotham. Bay Area hasnâ€™t played Gotham this year and after both teams won their respective playoffs, many were hoping to see these two teams battle it out for the Hydra.
As well as looking at each team as a whole, we’re featuring one skater from each team. For Bay Area, we caught up with jammer Bricktator.
BAD has been looking positively mechanical this season – tell us a little bit about your training regime.
We started this season with the goal of skating on Sunday at Championships and we worked backwards from there. We set individual and team goals that guided our fitness routines and determined our strategies. We skate together three times a week, in addition to any all-league or home team practices we attend. Recently, we have been incorporating longer scrimmages, with the help of our referee crew, NSOs and “Team Gold” skaters, to better simulate a sanctioned bout and ensure that we are mentally and physically prepared for Champs.
You have a first round bye before coming up against the winner of Philly versus Windy. How are you preparing for a match up against either team?
Although we have played both Philly and Windy this year, we are not expecting the same teams we faced earlier in the season. We acknowledge that both teams have hard-hitting blockers and sturdy jammers. To be successful against either team this time around we need to play our strategy and stay on the floor.
A lot of people wanted to see a BAD/Gotham final this year, but you’re set to meet in the semis if you win your first bout. How does the team feel about this?
A BAD/Gotham final would have been an epic game, but ultimately, you have to beat every team in your path, regardless of when, in order to claim the Hydra.
How much does your team study the teams you are going to play at a tournament?
Before a bout, we use footage and stat analysis to investigate strengths and weaknesses of our opponents. We do the research on our own time as well as film sessions with the team. It is not uncommon to see a BAD skater with her tablet in her lap on the plane, watching a game for the fourth time.
Who on your team has been cleaning it up on the track this year and deserves a special mention?
We have a lot of amazing veteran skaters on our team that get a lot of well deserved recognition but we also have some equally deserving skaters that often fly under the radar. Brawllen Angel–our captain and a great communicator on and off the track. She is always thinking about strategy and how to best execute it.
Murderyn Monroe–Don’t let her blonde hair and red lipstick fool you. She will leave a gap open to tempt the jammer, but then slams it shut and makes you regret you even thought about it.
Sherlock Homeslice–She has an intense off-skates routine that continues to make her stronger on the track. She uses her strength efficiently while playing smart and clean.
Unfortunately, the luck of the draw had other plans and Bay Area ended up on the same side as Gotham, meaning that so long as both teams win their quarterfinals, they will meet in the semis. The two other #1 seeds–Texas and Denver–have both played Gotham this year, and both lost convincingly: Texas by 247 points at ECDX and Denver by 134 at the Ratâ€™s Nest in August. If and when Bay Area and Gotham meet, it will likely be one of the match-ups of the year and shouldnâ€™t be missed.
Looking ahead to Champs, fans can expect to see Bay Areaâ€™s well-oiled defense out in force. Veteran blockers Demanda Riot and belle RIGHT hooks have a longstanding history of holding it down in the pack, but teammates Brawllen Angel, Murderyn Monroe and Sherlock Homeslice have also been cleaning up this season.
In the jamming rotation, Chantilly Mace has been a real standout in 2013. Sheâ€™s swift, strong and smart, and came away from Salem as top point-scorer for all three Bay Area games. Bay Areaâ€™s other go-to jammers all played well at Salem–Lulu Lockjaw played a killer game against Detroit, Bricktator played consistently well during all three games, and in between racking up points for Bay Area, Nock Nock appeared to have barrels of fun playing jammer-on-jammer defense.
Bay Areaâ€™s road to the Hydra is unclear from here on out. Their first game at champs (Sat 4pm CST) is against the winner of Philly vs Windy the day before. The last time Bay Area took on Philly, they won by more than 100 points, but fell to Windy by 63 at The Golden Bowl this year. Windy has been looking good for the past few months, and with a bolstered roster, Bay Areaâ€™s quarterfinal may not be the cakewalk that Salem was. If they do come away with the win, they advance to play (more than likely) Gotham in the semis.
B.ay A.rea D.erby G.irls Golden Girls
0 Slaybia Majora // *000 Demanda Riot // 10 Huck Sinn // 1619 belle RIGHT hooks // 19 Steely Jan // 21 Lulu Lockjaw // 238 Baron von Punchausen // 26 Chantilly Mace // 32 Nock Nock // 381 Razor Grrl // 45 Dolly Rocket // 48 Bricktator // 500 Ivy Profane // 505 Shannon Dorato // 52 Kid Ace // 6 Kristi Yamagotcha // 7 Murderyn Monroe // 713 Sherlock Home Slice // 888 Brawllen Angel // 9 Amanda Jamitinya