Home Editor's Picks Arch Rival All-Stars Claim Pair Of Dominant Weekend Wins At Home

Arch Rival All-Stars Claim Pair Of Dominant Weekend Wins At Home

Triumphs For Region's Top-Ranked League Set Tone Heading Into WFTDA Playoffs

by Brian Ledford

(BALLWIN & ST. LOUIS, MO A clear message was sent by the primary travel team of St. Louis-based Arch Rival Roller Derby this weekend as they prepare for next month’s post-season push.

Get ready for a quad-wheeled buzzsaw!

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

The Arch Rival All-Stars, currently the top-ranked team in the North America Northeast region of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), produced a pair of dominant victories at home tracks in St. Louis County.

On Saturday night at Ballwin’s Midwest Sport Hockey, ARCH rolled out a 210-65 triumph over the New Jax City Rollers, the Jacksonville, Florida-based squad currently ranked first in the WFTDA North America South region.

Then on Sunday morning at ARCH’s Skatium practice facility in South St. Louis city, the locals continued the momentum with a 197-49 win over the Angel City Hollywood Scarlets, currently ranked third in the WFTDA North America West region.

The two-game sweep gave the squad plenty of positive traction prior to their upcoming post-season docket, the WFTDA Northeast Regional playoffs held next month in State College, Pennsylvania.

Arch Rival (2-0) is the top seed of the bracketed tourney set for May 17-19 and will look to claim one of three bids that will send them to the WFTDA Global Championships later this November.

“We’ve been having a lot of training over the past few weeks and it was really important to take all that training and execute, and that we did,” reflected ARCH blocker LuxFurious afterwards.

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

“We’ve only been practicing for six weeks, so finding our voice against teams was super-important,” added Arch Rival jammer Annie Swanson. “Everyone feels confident, which is great.”

As impressive as the Arch Rival All-Stars’ scoring was this weekend, the blocking, paced by LuxFurious and veterans Shear-Ra Powers, Cloak N’ Drag-Her, K. Woodward, Bolt Action, Splatter, dad bod, Eirinn Go Brawl, Cruella, Pegasass, Birdsong, Slaythoven and Sheesh, was even more stellar.

In their two games against high-caliber leagues, St. Louis only surrendered 114 points in 120 minutes of skate time.

“We are always making sure that we find each other and lock together,” said LuxFurious of her teammates. “We’re always yelling things like, ‘two butts.’ We have always been about playing chaos and it is definitely working.”

“They’re the most important thing,” said Swanson of the protection provided. “Jammers cannot do it alone anymore. The defense had been really, really strong across the board.”

No doubt, the efforts provided plenty of optimism as ARCH eyes a potential trek to champs in the quest of their first-ever Hydra Trophy.

SATURDAY: ARCH RIVAL ALL-STARS 210    NEW JAX CITY ALL-STARS 65

The highly anticipated match-up between top regional teams was tight early but ARCH’s 45-0 sprint deep in the first period determined the outcome.

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

Trailing 11-2 four minutes in, ARCH churned a 21-0 rally that flipped the scoreboard and the squad never trailed thereafter. The push was punctuated by Swanson’s seven-pointer at 18:40 that gave the locals a 23-11 edge.

New Jax’s Murph whittled ARCH’s lead to 31-21 following a 10-8 non-lead power jam at the 16:15 mark, but then St. Louis countered with another stretch by collecting four consecutive lead jams.

Launched by jammer Bricktator’s 11-point strike in Jam 12, ARCH produced their 19-0 rally that was concluded by Vicious Van GoGo’s grand slam with ten minutes left in the half that pushed the hosts’ lead to 50-21.

Leading 58-31 with seven minutes left in the first frame, ARCH posted the 45-0 run with back-to-back 11-point jams propelled by Pork T’Choup Slamwich and Swanson and was finished by Jedi Knight-N-Gale’s period-concluding dozen point strike.

When the dust settled, Arch Rival, who had a 19-3 advantage in first-half lead jams, sported a 103-31 lead over New Jax at intermission.

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

Again, ARCH’s defense was key, holding New Jax jammer Erin Jackson, a gold medal winning speed skater at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, to only four first-half points.

“We knew how amazing Erin is and it was definitely a goal to stop (her) momentum,” said LuxFurious. “So our job was to lock her down and take away that momentum.”

The second verse was same as the first as ARCH posted similar points in the game’s ensuing half.

Van GoGo’s 14-point rotation in Jam 9 extended Arch Rival’s lead to 140-49. This launched a three-jam, 25-0 rally that widened the differential to triple-digits, 151-49, following Slamwich’s six-pointer midway through the frame.

Down the stretch, ARCH comfortably dominated. On the game’s penultimate jam, Bricktator notched an 18-point rotation that pushed the locals past the bicentennial mark, 202-62.

Arch Rival outscored New Jax in the second half, 107-34, en route to the 210-65 season-opening victory. Three ARCH jammers scored 50-plus in the win, paced by Van GoGo’s 53 points followed by Knight-N-Gale’s 52.

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

“This whole season is telling everyone that we’re a team to be feared,” Swanson said. “Using the (phrase) ‘calling card,’ every time when we’re doing something, we’re The Joker throwing our card down on the table and that (teams) need to be scared of us.”

New Jax, who suffered their first loss of the season after collecting five straight WFTDA-sanctioned wins, which included a 131-121 triumph over Angel City in a closed game held earlier in the day, was paced by Murph, a pivot by trade, who notched 21 points overall via a pair of star passes.

New Jax (4-1) is the top seed for the upcoming North America South regional tournament, held in Austin, Texas in late-June. The opportunity to reach the WFTDA Global Championships will be tighter than ARCH as New Jax has to make it into the gold medal game in order to advance with only two bids available.

INDIVIDUAL SCORING

ARCH RIVAL ALL-STARS (210): Vicious Van GoGo 53, Jedi Knight-N-Gale 52, Bricktator 50, Annie Swanson 31, Pork T’Choup Slamwich 24

NEW JAX CITY ROLLERS (65): Murph 21, Erin Jackson 17, Leonne Groll 13, Jamsterella 7, Sinner 7.

SUNDAY: ARCH RIVAL ALL-STARS 197   ANGEL CITY HOLLYWOOD SCARLETS 49

No rest for the weary as St. Louis returned to the flat-track Sunday morning at their practice site for another showdown with California’s best. Heading into the game, the Hollywood Scarlets held a 2-1 overall edge in wins and ARCH wanted to even the historical ledger.

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

It did not take long to see how that would pan out.

Arch Rival raced out to a 34-0 lead in the first ten minutes, highlighted by separate dozen-point jams from Knight-N-Gale and Swanson.

The Hollywood Scarlets broke their goose egg at the 18:15 mark with Rachel Rotten’s four-point power jam that made the score 34-4.

ARCH then went on another stretch run. Launched by Swanson’s 16-pointer midway through the period, the locals steamrolled a 41-0 rally, concluded by Knight-N-Gale’s eight-point, non-lead power jam that extended the score to 75-4 with 8:30 left in the half.

Angel City attempted to chip away at the deficit with multi-lap scoring passes from Rotten but ARCH was able to keep the differential at plus-70 down the stretch and held a 99-23 lead at intermission.

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

“We weren’t playing 100-percent great jams, but we were bringing it together,” assessed Swanson.

Scoring was comparable in the early stages of the second half but St. Louis began to comfortably pull away ten minutes deep. Bricktator’s ten-point tally in Jam 6 was followed by Swanson’s dozen collected at the 19:30 mark as ARCH extended their lead to 131-35.

Knight-N-Gale’s eight-point strike on the next jam blossomed ARCH’s margin to tiple-digits, 139-35.

On the plus-side for the Hollywood Scarlets, they refused to waive the white flag. Jammer Schadenfreude had a solid second half in scoring, posting a dozen points off three jams.

Brickator’s dozen-point strike with 5:10 left was followed by her trip to the penalty box, handing Angel City a power start. Once she returned to play thirty seconds deep in Jam 15, ARCH claimed their own non-lead power jam and the co-captain churned 11 points that pushed the score to 171-43.

Arch Rival outscored Angel City 98-26 in the second period en route to the 197-49 victory and the All-Stars’ weekend sweep. Swanson paced ARCH scoring with 69 points, followed by Bricktator’s 62.

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

Angel City, whose pair of losses during the St. Louis trek dropped their overall record to 3-4, was paced by Rotten’s 19 points Sunday. Safe money says that will still be in prime contention for medal placement at the WFTDA North America West regional tournament, held in Portland, Oregon in mid-June, where three bids to the global championships are in the mix.

Meanwhile, ARCH’s aspirations are high for a gold medal next month in Pennsylvania, thanks to overall strength and depth.

“What I love this season is that blockers are learning to do everything,” assessed LuxFurious. “All of us can play up. Having such a deep jammer pool makes our job so much easier.”

“There’s just immense talent,” added Swanson. “It’s not just about what we can do physically, but also what we can do to lift each other up. We have a vibe that really supports each other and that really helps. This team is really special.”

INDIVIDUAL SCORING

ARCH RIVAL ALL-STARS (197): Annie Swanson 69, Bricktator 62, Jedi Knight-N-Gale 49, Pork T’Choup Slamwich 19

ANGEL CITY HOLLOYWODD SCARLETS (49): Rachel Rotten 19, Schadenfreude 16, Ghetto Fabu-lez 10, CrackHer Jack 4.

OTHER ARCH ACTION FROM THE WEEKEND

ARCH RIVAL FLEUR-DE-LINQUENTS 277   SCDC 59

Prior to Saturday’s feature event at Midwest Sport Hockey, the opener saw ARCH’s Fleur-De-Linquents, the league’s C-team, claim their first victory of the season with a 218-point victory over their friends from St. Charles County-based SCDC.

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

Both teams were heading into the contest 0-1 and were champing at the bit for their first “W” on the scoreboard.

The FDL’s late 78-0 first-period run resulted in the duke.

The FDL’s scored first in the game and never surrendered. By collecting the game’s first four lead jams, they rolled out to a 20-0 advantage following Fly By Bridie’s four-pointer notched at the 26:30 mark.

SCDC (0-2) valiantly played tight and shored the score to 32-11 following STAG’s eight-point jam with twenty minutes left.

Leading 42-13 after thirteen jams, the FDL’s claimed a mind-numbing 14 straight leads and produced their 78-0 stretch. This was built thanks to stellar blocking from co-captains Warpath O’ Jen and Betty White Trash alongside Spider Monkey, Alisin Wonderbra, Sin, Natural Disaster, Machine Gun Maggie, Thrasher, Lisa Shank, Strawberry MILFShake, Slamrock, Comet and Emma Kidd.

ARCH newcomer Donna Diablo’s 18-point push with twelve minutes left highlighted the run, as the FDL’s extended the score to 120-13 with two minutes left in the half.

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

The FDL’s possessed a commanding 140-25 lead at intermission.

The second period saw the locals maintaining their pace. Diablo’s dozen snared during the half’s opening four jams, resulted in the team’s 19 uncontested points overall and a 159-25 lead.

As the final frame advanced, SCDC produced glimpses of scoring with multi-pass jams from Cup N’ TNT. The jammer finished the evening with 24 points, which topped team scoring.

The Fleur-De-Linquents reached the bicentennial mark with sixteen minutes remaining as Diablo’s 20-4 jam made the score 208-42.

Birdie added a pair of dozen-point jams down the stretch that secured victory.

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

The FDLs outscored SCDC in the second half, 137-34, to pick up the 277-59 win and improve to 1-1. Diablo notched 99 points in the triumph, followed by Birdie’s 98. The team is scheduled next to play on the road against the primary travel team from Springfield (MO) Roller Derby May 11.

SCDC next competes against Natural State Roller Derby’s Natural Disasters (0-1) this Saturday in Springdale, Arkansas.

INDIVIDUAL SCORING

ARCH RIVAL FLEUR-DE-LINQUNETS (277): Donna Diablo 99. Fly By Birdie 98, Doll Cutter 63, Warpath O’ Jen 8, Comet 4, Spider Monkey 4, Sin 1.

SCDC (59): Cup-A-TNT 24, STAG 15, Trekkie Monster 13, The Righteous GenStoner 7.

 

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By trade, he is a six-time, regional Emmy Award-winning news videographer/editor for KTVI/KPLR-TV. By hobby, he is a writer for Arch City Media, dating back to February 2014. Emphasis is on featuring and promoting local women's sports, but will cover anything that is not reported by traditional media outlets. Also a contributor to local concert reviews.

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