DES MOINES, IA–Omaha and Duke are pretty evenly matched teams. Both have strong, smart blockers â€¦ but Duke has only 11 of them. That didnâ€™t stop them racking up a 212-189 win over Omaha to take 7th place at the first WFTDA Division 2 playoff.
The noon game began with a return of the Omaha crowd chanting â€œO-R-G!â€ The first jam set the tone for the rest of the bout as Mae Kit Rain got out with lead–but Max the Arctic Blast was just half a lap back and forced her to call the jam after a single point.
The following jam Meep Meep got a back-block, giving a power jam to Omahaâ€™s Midlife Crashes. She worked her way to the front only to get pushed out by Killer Queen and recycled all the way to the back. Queen did it again and this time successfully forced a cut on Midlife, with Meep already standing in the box. She had enough time to get four points before the end of the jam, and put Duke on the board.
A full box for Omaha set HBomb up for a great power jam. Midlife got back on the track but her blockers got too busy helping her to play effective defense; when the jam ended, Duke had taken the lead at 29-10 after five grand slams. With five minutes gone, Omaha called their first time-out.
Skater: Jams / Lead / Points
HBOMB: 12 / 7 / 93
Max The Arctic Blast: 15 / 8 / 70
Meep Meep: 7 / 2 / 31
Led Zyppin: 4 / 2 / 18
Skateaway Faye: 11 / 3 / 71
Mae Kit Rain: 9 / 2 / 61
Rady Ruck: 10 / 4 / 48
Midlife Crashes: 8 / 2 / 9
Full stats courtesy of WFTDA.
In a hectic pack, Mae Kit Rain took lead while Daisy brought Meep Meep to a halt in the pack before Sharon Misery landed a big hit to further slow her progress through the pack. Mae made a grand slam in the meantime–and then Meep landed in the penalty box following a track cut. Mae ended the jam after three grand slams and put Omaha within 2 points at 30-32.
Duke started getting into penalty trouble and Faye grabbed another 15 points for the second lead change of the game with Omaha leading 45-32. Midlife tried to continue the run in the next jam and nearly made it out of the pack, only to pick up a track cut. Daisy, Molly, Sharon and Viper made an intimidating four wall, but it quickly crumbled as each one got multi-player block penalties over the next two passes.
Midlife hopped back on the track but immediately earnt another penalty, setting Duke City up for yet another lead change as Meep Meep added 20 points, followed by 24 from Max which brought the score to 76-45.
Omahaâ€™s penalty trouble continued and after Meep Meep made a grand slam on
Mae Kit Rain, she came in hot and back-blocked Texas Viper to hand Mae a power jam. She countered with two of her own grand slams before the jam ended.
Skateaway Faye replicated Meepâ€™s jam in the next one with one grandslam and one back block, which left Led Zyppin with a power jam. She struggled against the strong Omaha defense and could only manage one scoring pass. Duke remained in the lead, 87-71 with 8 minutes to go.
It was Maxâ€™s turn for a jammer penalty next time out and Omaha retook the lead with an 18 point jam by Rady Ruck.
Penalties flew for Duke–which didnâ€™t help their 11 person roster–and Rady Ruck switched places with HBomb in the box. Sharon, Daisy and Dâ€™naille looked like linemen waiting for HBomb but she managed to get 9 points. Max followed up with 10 points in the last jam of the half and secured one more lead change, Duke 108 to 106.
This was Dukeâ€™s fourth game of the weekend and they started to look worn out. Omahaâ€™s blockers were giving no mercy to the short Duke bench and Zyppin was holding an ice pack to her face as the team headed to the locker room for the interval.
Max got the second half started with four points, but Meep Meep got a track cut in the next jam–she was then withdrawn from the Duke jamming lineup. Mae Kit Rain grabbed 23 points in the ensuing power jam to change the lead again.
Faye and HBomb swapped jammer penalties for an 8-3 jam and Omaha extended their lead to 20 points in the first 6 minutes of the second half.
Once the box finally emptied the teams went neck and neck. Both teams made the jammers work hard as Max got knocked to the inside, Ruck to the outside–and the whole pack moved backwards to recycle them both. Both teams grabbed a point each in the next two jams, but–of course–penalties continued to have an impact.
Zyppin seemed to be less effective against the big Omaha blockers and Faye took advantage of it by making round after round on the small Duke pack. She got going too fast though and a back block put her in the box. With Zyppin struggling and Meep Meep in penalty trouble on six turns, HBomb and Max traded the star for the rest of the bout. Death Ro got her 6th penalty which further shrank Dukeâ€™s bench.
Omaha learned to never give up yesterday and continued to put the beating on Duke jammers. Max saw light at the front of the pack, but a quick hip toss by Sharon dumped her into the middle and she got recycled. She finally got out, grabbed 13 points, received a big hit and called the jam. She was slow to get up which caused the refs to stop the clock and call for the medics, but Max simply waved them away, obviously just exhausted.
A late call by Midlife and effective offense by Killer Queen helped Duke start to creep back up on the board, trailing 163-147 with 14 minutes to go. Two consecutive jammer penalties for Mae gave Duke 24 points and the lead by 2 points.
Omaha couldnâ€™t stay out of penalty trouble, and Duke dominated the pack, despite Meep Meep and Death Ro taking a break on the bench with 6 penalties each.
Omahaâ€™s chances looked bleak as Zyppin forced a cut on Mae Kit Rain and HBomb added 20 points to their score. In what looked like the last jam, Max got a forearm penalty and when Midlife finally got around Killer Queen for lead, she called it off immediately so Omaha could use a timeout to get another jam.
Skateaway Faye took the line for the last jam and faced a 3-1 pack disadvantage, with only Daisy on the track to block for her–prompting her bench coach to offer some reassuring words. Omaha had worked magic yesterday and 30+ point jams are doable, but Faye was unable to close the 37 point gap. Duke took the win, 212-189 and 7th place in the tournament–an amazing performance by an unassuming and short-handed team.