The camaraderie, sportsmanship and friendliness between any two roller derby teams about to start a competitive bout is always on display.
At the Saturday, June 7, bout plenty of hugs, conversations and smiles passed between the Rat City Rollergirls “B” all-star team, the Rain of Terror (ROT) and their visiting foes, the Dot.Kamikazes (D.Kams) before and during warm-ups for their KeyArena bout. The serious game faces aren’t usually put on until the opening whistle is about to shrill. What was different about this bout is that the D.Kams, representing the Silicon Valley Roller Girls from San Jose, left the floor after watching ROT warm up and they were already wearing those skating faces, faces that reflected concern, grimness, some worry and maybe a flash of resignation.
Then the bout started. ROT led after three jams 25-0. Everything bad the D.Kams thought could happen to them was, in fact, being delivered. ROT had the lead jammer in all three of those jams. D.Kam players crowded the penalty box.
But some of that pre-bout grimness was also a reflection of the visitors determination to put up a fight, to take it to ROT. They did.
Beginning with 21 minutes left in the half the locals were shut out in seven of the next eight jams. D.Kams jammer Mad 4 Gravy (#4) made four passes in jam five while ROT jammer Megan Havok (#15) made two visits to the penalty box for clearing her path using high elbows and forearms. It was 25-24 and the start of a D.Kam run that saw them take and hold a slim lead for the next five jams. Part of the central California team’s strategy was to pick up quick points and call the jams. Most of those calls were made while sitting on their butts, planted by various ROT defenders. Bionic Baby Doll (#OX42) called her 9 point jam after K. Beezy (#187) slammed her firmly to the track. Same with Pia Mess (#247) in the following jam (after she stopped rolling) courtesy a Mayja Look (#2) hip check. Next jam Gin Fluenza (#222) scored three quick points, calling the jam while looking up from the track surface at a hulking K. Beezy. Better to take the three then risk having that happen to her again.
ROT turned on the juice beginning in jam twelve. They led at the half 106-48 and won the bout 206-97.
In that twelfth jam Rattleskate (#16) took the lead but ate track as she approached her first scoring pass. D.Kams blocker Belle Wringer (#203) rung her bell but Rattleskate got up, shook it off and picked up 19 points. Not so successful, Mad 4 Gravy spent most of the jam being dragged and recycled by Parker Eyeout (#070), Endora Finn Rush (#42) and Megan Havok.
The D.Kams were shut out in 14 of the 22 first half jams. They seldom had the lead jammer and often spent the entire jam just trying to get their scorer through the ROT blockers. ROT pivot play was a big part in their win. Between Dee Cap Attack (#-1), who held pivot in ten jams for the bout, K. Beezy for 12 and Belle Tolls (#4) for ten, there was just too much solid defense for the Kamikazes to overcome.
At one point Dee Cap Attack was organizing her blockers with a look in her eyes so intense, so determined that it must have given her own teammates a bit of a tremble. It scared the approaching D.Kam jammer enough to just call the thing off while she was still in one piece.
The second half was a repeat of the first 30 minutes. ROT continued to widen their lead, D.Kam spent more time in the penalty box. They had 38 for the bout while ROT had 24.
ROT Coach Julie Ann Bruise said that she was very pleased with her team’s play. “We’ve been working all along on controlling the pace of the game,” she said. Head ROT Coach Inspector Parts explained that, by not letting the other team set the pace his team was better able to play together and control the D.Kam attack. “We did a lot of film study,” he said.
Pink Ranger, head coach for the D.Kams, said that he thought both teams played excellent derby at the highest effort level. “Our biggest issue was penalties,” he said. “We had a lot of them, but I thought we played even when we had our full team on the track. I’m really happy with the play of our girls.” He added that Pia Mess, who played some years ago with Rat City, had a great game. “As she goes, the team goes,” he said.
The Silicon Valley derby teams recently had their home rink destroyed and they have been scrambling all over the valley for practice and bout rinks. The Dot.Kamikazes played Sunday at the Rat’s Nest against the other team on the card from Saturday night, the Jet City Bombers. The Bombers and the Rat City “A” All-Star Team (AST) played the second bout on Saturday, a match won by the AST 258-119. On Sunday the Bombers and the D.Kams put on a show, a bout that was won by the Bombers 244-97.
In the ROT/D.Kam bout Shock Therapy (#1400) led all scorers with 65 points. Rattleskate had 62 and they came in bunches as she averaged 12.4 points per jam. Megan Havok had 45, Ella Whirled (#2010) had 27, Dee Cap Attack, 3, and Belle Tolls, 4. Four jammers scored all the points for the D.Kams. They were led by Mad 4 Gravy with 46, Gin Fluenza, 20, Pia Mess, 18 and Bionic Baby Doll, 13.