(IRVING, TX) St. Louis-based Arch Rival Roller Derby (ARCH) will have some extra weight in their skater bags when returning home from the Lone Star State tomorrow and extra travel plan to book ahead.
This comes as a result of Sunday’s 186-91 bronze medal victory over Minnesota in the third place game at the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) playoff tournament held at Irving Convention Center.
The two Midwestern teams, respectively seeded third and fourth heading into the weekend’s twelve-team bracket, are familiar with each other as competitors – dating back to the late-2000s – which meant that both knew how to prepare for each other in the showdown.
“I think we knew how to tap into their weaknesses and really just take it to them and not let them get a strong hold,” assessed ARCH co-captain Bricktator in a post-game online interview. “What they’re best at is once they grab you, they are really good at setting in but if you can keep them moving, then you’re more in control.
The veteran, high-scoring skater had plenty of opportunity to closely-watch the game as a knee injury occurred during Saturday night’s semifinals against the Texas Rollergirls led to her absence. In hindsight, it proved to be the right move for the Gateway City rollers (6-5) as overall team depth, paced by a smothering defense, still resulted in the comfortable win.
ARCH, currently ranked eighth internationally, now continues their post-season with an appearance at the WFTDA Division 1 Championships, held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at a quarterfinal play-in game against the London Rollergirls on Friday, November 3.
“We’re going to keep training really hard and put in some extra time and be on the track as much as possible,” said jammer Bolt Action of the upcoming preparation. “Tweaking all of our plays and making sure that everything is locked down and ready for Philly.”
Trailing 3-1 after two jams, Arch Rival gained six straight lead jams resulting in a 30-0 rally. Jammer Harmony Killerbruise scored 16 points in the third rotation, resulting in a 17-3 scoreboard flip in favor of St. Louis. Two jams later, Annie Swanson added nine to push the score to 26-3.
Meanwhile, ARCH’s stubborn blocking schema – paced by Cloak N’ DragHer, Kayla Woodward, Shimmy Hoffa, CupQuake, Shear-Ra Powers, Smarty McFly, Vicious van GoGo, Salty, Smarty McFly, Grant and Fletcher – kept the clamp down on Minnesota’s offense and with an extra five points posted near the end of the run, Arch Rival’s lead blossomed to 31-3 twelve minutes in.
Minnesota’s Second Hand Smoke snared four in Jam 9 to break the silence but St. Louis’ Bolt Action notched nine in the next rotation to extend ARCH’s lead to 40-7.
Scoring was minimal as the period progressed but the differential was comparable. Arch Rival maintained a 45-15 lead with less than ten minutes left in the half.
Double-digit jams returned to the fold in the latter stretches of the period. Swanson posted a dozen that pushed the score to 57-15 and Action added 9-2 rotation with 7:30 remaining as the ARCH’s lead swelled to 66-17.
Minnesota made a valiant attempt to shore the score as Smoke gathered seven in Jam 19 but Arch Rival’s Reptar quickly quashed the momentum and posted ten with 4:25 left in the period as ARCH pushed the score to 76-24.
In the period’s final minutes, St. Louis widened the differential and held a 90-34 lead at intermission.
Second verse same as the first as ARCH scored 15 from the starting whistle. During the run, Swanson posted six and Action added nine to widen the score to 105-34.
Leading 122-53 with 17:15 left, Arch Rival took advantage of a Minnesota jammer penalty and capitalized with Swanson’s 16-point power jam with that pushed the score to 136-53. An additional nine from Acton in the next rotation as St. Louis lead grew to 145-53.
Down the stretch, Minnesota was never able to narrow the differential as Arch Rival’s 96-57 advantage in second period scoring resulted in St. Louis’ 95-point bronze medal victory in the playoff held deep in the heart of Texas.
“Today my goal was to keep my feet moving and not make any stupid plays or get desperate,” said Action, who paced ARCH scoring with 65 points. “I tried to be on the track move forward as much as possible rather than making risky plays and getting called out on it.”
For more information on Arch Rival Roller Derby, go to their website.
ARCH RIVAL SCORING: Bolt Action 65, Annie Swanson 52, Harmony Killerbruise 43, Reptar 26.