(ST. CHARLES, MO) The final tally on the scoreboard for the St. Chux Derby Chix did not turn out in their favor Saturday night.
The 182-110 setback to the Southern Illinois Roller Girls put a bit of a damper for the Pack in Black’s season opener at Olympia Athletic and Events Centre.
However, the evening proved optimistic for the St. Charles County-based rollers as they played the higher-ranked visitors tightly in the first period. Considering that there were many in the lineup of thirteen that had minimal seasons of derby experience, SCDC’s triple-digit output and competitive drive was considered a success and brought positive vibes afterwards.
“What I liked tonight is that we trusted our packs and our systems,” assessed captain Tara Eyes after the game. “There are some things that we have to work on but we know it and are admitting to it. We know that we are coachable and receptive to one another’s communication so that’s a big, big, big deal.”
SCDC’s opening rotations contained numerous ebbs and flows. Southern Illinois’ Queen of Hearts cruised to a 16-point opening jam that gave the visitors an early advantage. SCDC’s LaDI Dadi posted the first points of the season with a 16-11 non-lead power jam that sliced the deficit to 27-16 at the 24:00 mark.
St. Chux returnee Trekkie Monster scored three in Jam 4 to cut the differential to single-digits and a 4-4 push at the 20:40 mark made the score 31-23.
The Black in Black then settled down and cobbled together their best rally of the night with a nine-minute stretch that produced a 35-7 scoreboard flip propelled by the blocking of Eyes, #smashtag, Shakilla, Doc HaulAway. Poison Ivy, Wickedpedia, Wretched Gretchen, Al B. Hatin, Spill Murray and Sir Lands-A-Lot.
Midway through the period, Trekkie Monster claimed lead and notched a 28-7 jam that resulted in SCDC’s first advantage of the evening, a 51-50 lead change with 12:50 left in the period. Two jams later, she added an additional three points via a power jam that pushed the lead to four. Rookie Stag added a grand slam at the 8:30 mark that widened the lead to 58-50.
“We got nervous at first but then we calmed down,” said Eyes of the turnaround. “We played as a team. That’s the biggest thing you have to do out here is trust each other and play as a team.”
Rattled, Southern Illinois found their own moment of zen by claiming six straight lead jams and recorded a 23-0 streak. Highlighted by Deathstrike’s eight-point power jam with 5:20 left in half, the visitors’ uncontested run resulted in a 73-58 lead heading into the period’s final jam.
Queen of Hearts finished the period with a 12-4 rotation that resulted in Southern Illinois’ 85-62 lead at intermission.
Then Southern Illinois produced their most effective run of the night with a 51-0 rally that the hostesses couldn’t recover from. With blocking aided by Guacarolly, Brickolage, Polaroid Rage, Thug Bug and a host of others, SoILL got multi-lap scoring strikes from Queen of Hearts and Slama en route to a 161-77 lead following captain Lethal Objection’s grand slam scored with 8:10 left.
Down the stretch, SCDC looked to save face and did effectively record a nice surge of points deep, punctuated by Stag’s 11-point tally on the game’s final rotation that pushed the team’s output past the centennial mark.
Southern Illinois outscored St. Chux in the second half, 97-48, to claim the 182-110 victory.
Even in defeat, SCDC leadership knew that there were some positives to be found Saturday night. This will help the squad as they prepare for their next home game against Stevens Point, Wisconsin’s Mid-State Roller Derby on April 4.
“I wanna say I want to see a win but I’m going to hold my thoughts on that,” said Eyes with a smile. “Everyone’s been working hard and a lot of them are very new but I’m expecting some great things from them. I think our overall goal this year is to become more competitive. Tonight, we saw that.”
For more information on SCDC, go to their official website.