The primary travel teams of St. Louis-based Arch Rival Roller Derby take a trip to the Big Easy this weekend but are fully aware that their derby docket will be anything but easy.
At the SweatFest 2018 invitational held in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Arch Rival All-Stars, currently ranked fifth internationally by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), battles with #6 Texas and #11 Atlanta.
Meanwhile ARCH’s b-team, the Saint Lunachix, has meetings with the LA Nightmare Squad, the Houston Knockouts and the Texas Chainsaws.
The third installment of the event, hosted by the Big Easy Rollergirls, takes place at the UNO Lakefront Arena.
The Arch Rival All-Stars (2-3) recently claimed the top seed at the upcoming WFTDA Playoff round in A Coruna, Spain thanks to their extremely competitive play against elite global teams this season. This includes their two-game split at July’s Golden Bowl Invitational in Oakland, California where they snared a 298-73 victory over #19 Bay Area and suffered a 178-153 setback to #4 Denver.
The missive for the St. Louis A-squad this weekend is to prove to the derby universe that they rightly-deserved the number one seed in a post-season tournament and to prep for potential battles beyond Spain.
“With Playoffs approaching quickly, these games will be incredibly important to help us transition from summer mode into game mode,” said All-Stars co-captain Bricktator. “We won’t see Texas nor Atlanta at Playoffs but if all goes well, we’ll likely see them again at Champs so this tournament is also good for Champs prep.”
Alongside the co-captain, ARCH jamming is paced by Annie Swanson, Psychokid D’ Freakout, Bolt Action and Reptar while starting blockers Shear-Ra Powers, Cloak N’ Drag-Her, Vicious Van GoGo, Jamheiser Bush, Kayla Woodward, Grant, LuxFurious, Hero-Shima, Pegassas, Fletcher and others lay down the foundation.
Arch Rival’s opponent on Saturday at high noon, eleventh-ranked Atlanta, is seeded fourth at their hosted WFTDA playoff held in late September. The Dirty South Derby Girls (6-1) collected a three-game sweep at the aforementioned Golden Bowl over #16 Santa Cruz (201-105), #17 Arizona (227-131) and #22 Minnesota (201-80).
“We were able to watch Atlanta play at Golden Bowl,” said ARCH’s Bricktator. “A lot of their players are returning so they know how to compete. Atlanta continues to climb in the rankings this year so they are definitely not a team to overlook.”
The marquee SweatFest match-up this cycle is arguably the side-by-side ranked battle between #5 Arch Rival and #6 Texas Sunday at 4 pm. The Texacutioners (2-3) have notched wins over #12 Rainy City (215-75) and #19 Bay Area (214-90).
Historically, Arch Rival has never recorded a win over Texas, which includes a 209-118 setback at last September’s WFTDA playoff round held in Dallas.
“The Texacutioners are relentless and they always manage to be the best version of themselves in the post-season,” reflected Bricktator of the 2017 meeting. “We couldn’t match their intensity when we met them at Playoffs last year but this year will be different.”
On the b-team front, the Saint Lunachix (1-2) are primed to play a trio of quality opponents in the Crescent City.
“The Lunas are excited to save our most challenging weekend of derby as our last of the regular season,” said bench coach Gil Tiemann. “We face three different teams in two days with different styles and talent levels, so this is not only going to be a test of our progress as a team in 2018, but also of our endurance and character.”
Ultraviolet, Jedi Knight-N-Gale, Flash, Bloody Gaga and Aggie Wartooth will start in the jamming rotation this weekend while blocking will be paced by Rock Slobster, Cruella Belle-ville, Birdsong, Splatter, Pixie Dust-Ruction, Lethal Dose, Trigger Happy Jackie, Sue Bob Fight, Rude-Off, SheKill O’Neal, Girl Fawkes, Carmina Piranha and Joan of Spark.
The Texas Chainsaws (1-4) and the Houston Knockouts (1-2) will be primed to pick up their respective seconds wins of the season in their individual contests against St. Louis.
Tiemann is ready to see how the Lunachix battle adversity in the two-day sprint.
“I am looking forward to seeing this team playing at their best and being proud of how they finish what has been a tough 2018 season,” he said.
For more information on Arch Rival Roller Derby, visit their official website.
ARCH AT SWEATFEST SCHEDULE (all times Central)
12 PM Arch Rival All-Stars vs. Atlanta Dirty South Derby Girls
2 PM ARCH Saint Lunachix vs. LA Nightmare Squad
10 AM ARCH Saint Lunachix vs. Houston Knockouts
4 PM ARCH Saint Lunachix vs. Texas Chainsaws
6 PM Arch Rival All-Stars vs. Texas Texacutioners