Home Editor's Picks Arch Rival All-Stars Roll Into WFTDA Post-Season Tourney This Weekend

Arch Rival All-Stars Roll Into WFTDA Post-Season Tourney This Weekend

Top Seed From St. Louis Favored To Win Berth Into Global Championships

by Brian Ledford

The Arch Rival Roller Derby All-Stars haven’t competed in a post-season tournament for almost five years.

It’s no fault of their own.

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

The St. Louis-based travel team has been one of the most-watched and successful “squads on quads” within the global Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) in recent memory, but the governing body hasn’t presented an official playoff since the pandemic halted international play in early-2020.

That all changes this weekend as the WFTDA returns to form with a three-day, regional post-season donnybrook that features the locals as the top seed.

Arch Rival competes at the WFTDA North America Northeast Regional Championships that begin Friday at State College, Pennsylvania.

The ARCH All-Stars, the region’s top-ranked team, received a first-round bye in the twelve-team, bracketed tournament and will play the winner of Friday morning’s #8 Queen City vs. #9 Ann Arbor play-in game at a quarterfinal match-up set for 5 PM Central.

It’s been a long, patient wait for the Gateway City’s finest, who last competed at an official post-season tourney in November 2019 and finished fourth at the WFTDA International Championships.

As expected, they are champing at the bit to get back into the thick of things at a worldwide level.

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

“It has been five years since we’ve had a WFTDA playoff tournament!” said ARCH co-captain Bricktator. “Despite that gap, our team has stayed strong and continued to elevate our play.”

After finishing 2023 with an 8-2 record in sanctioned play, ARCH recently claimed a pair of wins over highly-ranked teams that maintained their positive trajectory.

On April 20, St. Louis notched a 210-65 triumph over the New Jax City All-Stars, the Jacksonville, Florida-based squad currently ranked first in the WFTDA North America South region.

The next day, ARCH claimed a 197-49 duke over the Angel City Hollywood Scarlets, currently ranked third in the WFTDA North America West region.

“The games against New Jax and Angel City gave us some great game experience,” reflected Bricktator. “Our success in those games validated the work we’ve put in so far this season.”

Alongside the co-captain, jamming this weekend will be paced by Annie Swanson, Jedi Knight-N-Gale, Vicious Van GoGo, Pork T’Choup Slamwich, Hart and Skeevie Nicks.

Blocking will be propelled by LuxFurious, Shear-Ra Powers, Cloak N’ Drag-Her, K. Woodward, Bolt Action, Splatter, dad bod, Eirinn Go Brawl, Cruella, Pegasass, Birdsong, Slaythoven and Sheesh.

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

All those participating have numerous cycles of post-season play and subsequent medals in personal possession. It results in the team fielding their most powerful line-up to date.

“Our talent runs deep,” agreed Bricktator. “It’s an incredible feeling to know that any combination of blockers and a jammer will be successful on the track. From a strategic mindset, this is the strongest we’ve ever been.”

Their yet-to-be-determined opponent in Friday’s quarterfinal round have each netted their own solo triumphs.

#8 Queen City (1-0) posted a 133-89 win over Ohio in mid-March while #9 Ann Arbor (1-0) topped Kalamazoo earlier that month, 206-94.

Regardless of who ARCH’s quarterfinal opponent is, safe money has the locals snaring a Friday victory and advancing to Saturday’s semifinal round due to the wide differential in seed.

Other top Northeast seeds heading into the weekend include #2 Montreal (2-1), #3 Gotham (0-0) and #4 Windy City (1-2).

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

Saturday’s line-up in the winner’s bracket contains semifinal games while Sunday focuses on medal placement and advancement to November’s WFTDA International Championships held in Portland. The top three finishers at Pennsylvania automatically gain entry to the season-ending tourney that will compete for the Hydra Cup, the top prize in the sport.

For ARCH, just claiming any type of medal this weekend is merely a casual goal. Overall, they want to win the Northeast gold outright and show the other teams that will play at four other WFTDA regional tourneys held this summer that they are the ones to be feared at the global finale later this year.

“Absolutely,” said Bricktator. “This weekend is a chance (for us) to showcase it for all of the derby world.”

Live online coverage was yet to be publicly revealed by the WFTDA at the time of this article’s publishing.

For more information on ARCH, go to their official website.

WFTDA NORTH AMERICAN NORTHEAST PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

ALL TIMES CENTRAL
FRIDAY
QUARTERFINAL PLAY-IN ROUND
9 AM – GAME 1: #8 Queen City vs. #9 Ann Arbor
11 AM – GAME 2: #5 Boston vs. #12 Tri-City
1 PM – GAME 3: #6 Minnesota vs. #11 Montreal Les Sexpos (B)
3 PM – GAME 4: #7 Detroit vs. #10 Gotham Wall Street Traitors (B)
QUARTERFINAL ROUND
5 PM – GAME 5: #1 Arch Rival vs. Queen City/Ann Arbor Winner
7 PM – GAME 6: #4 Windy City vs. Boston/Tri-City Winner
SATURDAY
QUARTERFINAL ROUND
9 AM – GAME 7: #3 Gotham vs. Minnesota/Montreal B Winner
11 AM – GAME 8: #2 Montreal Les New Skids on the Block vs. Detroit/Gotham B Winner
CONSOLATION ROUND
1 PM – GAME 9: Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 3
3 PM – GAME 10: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 4
SEMIFINAL ROUND
5 PM – GAME 11: Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6
7 PM – GAME 12: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8
SUNDAY
CONSOLATION ROUND
10 AM – GAME 13: Loser Game 5 vs. Loser Game 8
12 PM – GAME 14: Loser Game 6 vs. vs. Loser Game 7
MEDAL ROUND (Top Three Finishers Advances To Champs)
2 PM – GAME 15: THIRD PLACE GAME: Loser Semifinal Game 1 vs. Loser Semifinal Game 2
4 PM – GAME 16: FIRST PLACE GAME: Winner Semifinal Game 1 vs. Winner Semifinal Game 2

 

 

 

 

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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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