D2DM: Blue Ridge Cooks Duke City, 188-120

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DES MOINES, IA–Three WFTDA ranking upsets in three bouts opened the first Division 2 tournament in Des Moines. Up fourth were two very different teams–Blue Ridge, WFTDA neophytes with no tournament experience whatsoever, and the vastly more experienced WFTDA founding league Duke City. A tight first half with multiple lead changes was capped by a 30-0 run for Blue Ridge against a short-handed Duke City team and the North Carolina team never looked back; they eventually took the win 188-120.

Three hit-and-quit 4-0s opened the bout for Blue Ridge before Duke City’s Led Zyppin put up 5 on the powerjam. Max the Arctic Blast put up 7 more when polishing off the power jam, with the damage limited thanks to Punk Rotten’s smart hitting in the Blue Ridge pack to maintain their lead.

Top Jammers

Skater: Jams / Lead / Points

Blue Ridge

Skelley-Tor: 13 / 9 / 79
Caslamity Jane: 14 / 5 / 54
Lady Rider: 11 / 7 / 48
She-Wrex: 2 / 1 / 7

Duke City

Led Zyppin: 8 / 5 / 40
Meep Meep: 11 / 4 / 32
Max The Arctic Blast: 14 / 3 / 30
HBOMB: 9 / 2 / 18

Full stats courtesy of WFTDA.

Duke’s Meep Meep did effect a lead change next time out though, but it didn’t last. The teams traded leads for a few minutes before a combination of carelessness from Blue Ridge jammers and determination from Duke’s Led Zyppin pushed Duke slowly into a double-digit lead. Meep Meep then cut her way to the box and Duke’s hard work was undone; Skelly-tor made it 52-51 in Blue Ridge’s favour with six left in the period.

Lady Rider put up 10 to finish that power jam and give Blue Ridge a double-digit lead. Zyppin and She Wrex both picked up cuts within seconds of each other. Blue Ridge’s offence then kicked into gear as penalties started to hit Duke–and Blue Ridge took an 82-51 lead into the interval thanks to a 30-0 run.

But that run was ended at the earliest opportunity when Skelly hit the box in the first jam of the second half, on her initial pass. Max put up 10 before back-blocking her way to the box just as Skelly returned to the action.

Caslamity Jane hit the box for Blue Ridge as well as Duke narrowed the gap. The bout continued to be characterised by relatively high pack speeds and a very low pack penalty count. Ashevillain and One Hit Woundher starred in the pack as the game drew on and Duke’s shorthanded team started to tire. Even a couple of power jams for the Albuquerque team couldn’t make a significant dent in the growing Blue Ridge lead.

The margin was 50 as the game entered its final ten minutes before a 15-0 jam for Meep Meep offered a potential turning point–but it didn’t herald a shift in momentum as a run of jammer musical chairs burnt time off the clock without any meaningful difference to the margin. Killer Queen and Spittin Venom did a number on Caslamity Jane, and Blue Ridge edged towards the first higher-seeding win of the day. Lady Rider did cut her way to the box to hand Max a power jam with seconds remaining–but Blue Ridge led 175-120 at that point, and Max swiftly got a major of her own to remove what tiny sliver of hope remained. That jam ran the full two minutes–and Blue Ridge proceed to Saturday’s semifinal with a 188-120 win.

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