RICHMOND, CA — For the first time since the WFTDA split into 4 regions in 2009, the Western playoffs matchup between Oly and Rocky Mountain came before the final game. RMRG played a tough game, but was undone by Oly for the 3rd time in their four West playoffs meetings and lost 157-92.
The Rocky Mountain loss ensures they will miss the WFTDA Championships for the first time since 2009; Oly reaches the semifinals and only needs to win one of their next two games to advance for the fourth year in a row.
Oly were making a statement before the first whistle had even gone; they warmed up with “SOLD OUT” emblazoned across their commemorative t-shirts. They made a statement pretty quickly after the first whistle too; a 15-0 powerjam for Atomatrix got the bout going after Sweet Mary Pain was boxed on a major cut during her very first pass of the bout.
Pain handed Oly another powerjam next time out, and it was swiftly 30-0 to the Cosa Nostra Donnas thanks to Onda Sligh. By the time Pain had completed her first pass of the bout, Oly were 34-0 up; the jam ended at 36-3 after a late call from Lindsay LoBlow. The lead was maintained for the entire first half; Rocky rallied at the start of the second period, but a 61-0 run for Oly around further jammer penalties for Sweet Mary Pain ensured the Oly Rollers held on for a 157-92 victory.
Toxic Taunic got Rocky’s first lead call of the game and made it 36-8 when Onda Sligh got held up behind AJ in the Rocky pack. Honors were fairly even over the next few jams, with tentative play from both teams as they slowly felt each other out. Oly’s lead had stretched to 52-19 at the halfway point of the first period.
A bizarre passage of play saw three passes across two jams awarded 0 points — in one jam both jammers were deemed to have false started, so two laps from both were required before anyone was called lead. In the next jam Onda Sligh shrugged off Casstrator’s start line attentions and got a natural grand slam — but she couldn’t add to it as she was assessed to have not made a single complete and legal pass in her second scoring run. The left the score at 62-19, but a big 15-pointer for Toxic Taunic over a boxed Atomatrix lessened the deficit.
Alpha Q. Up looked to have thrown away Rocky’s chances of a momentum change when she was boxed on a fourth minor on her first pass — but Atomatrix was reboxed on a major cut within seconds of Alpha sitting down. Bob Loblaw, Frida Beater and May Q. Pay all swarmed Atomatrix when she was released, holding her for the remainder iof the jam. With four minutes to the half, Oly led 67-47.
Two lead calls to round out the half for Oly ensured they led 78-48 at the half — with the entire margin coming from that double power jam at the very start of the bout.
Four for Sweet Mary Pain in the opening jam helped set Rocky back on the right path, and two scoreless jams later Frida Beater waged a personal war against Lindsay LoBlow while Casstrator put up four more. A 3-0 for Atomatrix masked penalty problems that were mounting for Oly.
A powerjam for Toxic Taunic was cut short when she was boxed on a fourth minor in a two-minute jam against Chica Chula; some absent-minded blocking from Oly let the lead slip to 88-72 with ten minutes gone in the period.
Psycho Babble put up a 4-0 in her first turn with the star — but it was Atomatrix who opened up Oly’s lead again when Sweet Mary Pain was boxed. She made it 112-72 before calling it with Pain still sitting down. Pain was returned to the box when making her initial pass in the next jam for a major cut after dragging a foot out of bounds doing a 360 spin riding a hit on the inside line. Onda Sligh then made it 141-72 with a masterclass in the art of spinning to ride hits. Pain was reboxed for a crippling third time in succession on a fourth minor as Rocky’s blockers kept the box full.
That ended up being a 61-0 run for Oly. The streak was finally ended by 2 points for Toxic Taunic — her defensive jamming combined with a great hit out front from AJ to suck Atomatrix back into the back after both jammers broke free almost simultaneously.
As the bout entered the final phase Casstrator had a chance to add a gloss of respectability to the score for Rocky when Psycho Babble was handed a two-minute penalty for an egregious out of play block. She made it 157-92 — but the fact she was briefly boxed on a major forearm call limited the damage to the scoreline by knocking a minute off Psycho’s box time.
It was only fitting that the bout ended on an Oly power jam — even if the teams combined to extend the drama. Alpha Q. Up was boxed jamming against Atomatrix, who inexplicably called the penultimate jam with time remaining on the period clock despite the massive lead and skating unopposed. Rocky called timeout with just one second left, but Oly’s Psycho Babble got lead and very leisurely called the jam for the crowd’s amusement — and to a significant section of the crowd’s chagrin — in the final jam. Oly skated out 157-92 winners.
Oly moves on to play the winner of Rose City / Angel City at 2pm on Saturday; Rocky Mountain goes to the consolation rounds to play 7W Arizona in tomorrow’s 10am opener.