KALAMAZOO- Wings Stadium was the scene of some immensely intense roller derby action this weekend as Traverse City Roller Derby (TCRD) claimed two wins out of three bouts to take home the coveted third place trophy in the 2014 Mitten Kittens State Championship Tournament.
The weekend began with one of the most anticipated bouts of the season, a rematch between TCRD and Kalkaska’s Small Town Outlaws. The first half of this bout was incredibly hard fought. At least three lead changes took place as the cross-county rivals traded penalties and hard-won points. The halftime score stood at 104-70 in favor of TCRD, a small gap in roller derby, when one power jam can see a team gain 25-35 points.
But, TCRD came out with a vengeance for the second half, lead off by Alanis More-A-Threat’s nine point jam and Mace Hindu’s 12 point powerhouse showing. From there TCRD began to run away with it, behind powerful blocking and Wanda Hurtchu’s MVP earning jams. Alanis More-A-Threat and Kelamity Pain brought the bout to a close, Kelamity scoring five in her first jam ever for the Toxic Cherries and Alanis gaining lead jammer and scoring three closing grand slams. The final tally for the bout was 241-134 in favor of TCRD. This win guaranteed TCRD a chance at placement within the tournament.
TCRD’s next opponent (two hours later) was Detroit’s Motor City Disassembly Line. TCRD would finally figure out Motor City’s plan of attack, but not until 15 minutes into the second half. The entire bout was incredibly hard fought, both teams appeared exhausted at the bout’s end as blocking walls held and jammers had to work especially hard to break through in the final 15 minutes. However, the score reflected a bit of “running away with this one” on the part of Motor City, who would later go on to defeat the Kalamazoo Killa Crew in decisive fashion to claim first place in the tournament. The final score of the TCRD vs. Detroit bout favored Detroit 281- 86.
Sunday evening held perhaps the most impressive showing for TCRD of the entire weekend as they battled Lansing’s Capital Corruption for third place in the state championship tournament. TCRD leapt out ahead in the beginning moments of the bout and would hold onto that lead throughout the bout, despite some valiant efforts coming from Lansing. Throughout most of the bout, the score spread was in the single digits. But, thanks to some decisive blocking from the likes of Ninja Nurse, Javalanche, Jayna Jameson (who shut down a Lansing power jam with a monster hit), Lizzy Luscious, and Chief Drop-A-Ho, as well as some of the strongest jamming of the entire season from Alanis More-A-Threat, Edgy Cate, Wanda Hurchu, Bellatrix LeStrangle, and Mace Hindu, TCRD went on to take this third and final bout, and thus third place in the state, by a score of 186-158.
The way in which TCRD won, with so many decisive contributions from so many of their players, illustrates the mentality of 2014’s TCRD, that of “the team” over the individual. That mentality worked as the ladies of TCRD, who entered the tournament ranked #4 in the state, bettered that ranking by one, taking home the third place trophy and some impressive weekend stats.
Article by: Brooks Vanderbush
Photo by: Joshua Spencer