ALL-STARS & LUNACHIX IMPRESSIVE IN SWEEP!
by Muckety Muck, ARRG Bout Co-Announcer – Photos by Bob Dunnell
(BALLWIN, MO) Mere hours after the 139th Kentucky Derby had concluded at Churchill Downs, the travel squads of the Arch Rival Roller Girls brought their own brand of derby to the flat-track at Midwest Sport Hockey.
In Saturday’s two-bout sweep against the teams of the Ohio Rollergirls, ARRG collectively went to the winner’s circle.
In the main event, the Arch Rival All-Stars, ranked #13 internationally by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, topped #23 Ohio 179-108. In the b-team undercard, ARRG’s Saint Lunachix thumped Ohio’s Gang Green 242-70.
With the wins, each ARRG squad improved to 4-1 on the season.
Taking victories in the double header was impressive enough. How each squad did it was even more so.
For the 450 derby fans in attendance, it felt like hitting an exacta and heading to the pay window.
#13 ARCH RIVAL 179 #23 OHIO 108
Every bout that the ARRG All-Stars have had so far in 2013 always contains plenty of intrigue and drama prior to the first whistle. Sometimes, it’s a direct result of the pre-bout status of the locals. Conversely, it’s sometimes based upon the skill set of the opposition.
In Saturday’s bout, it was both…cranked up to an all-new level.
For starters, ARRG was facing a squad that already had twice as many games in hand prior to Saturday. Ohio had eight completed bouts on the ledger, which included seven dominant wins, compared to St. Louis’ four.
In addition, ARRG’s talented opponents were riding the momentum of the prior season, which saw them set a new WFTDA benchmark for most sanctioned wins in a regular season and ultimately finish fourth at last September’s North Central region playoff. A pair of wins in the Ohio 2012 campaign was over Arch Rival.
Most importantly, Arch Rival was working with a shortened bench that saw two glaring holes pre-bout. The non-injury absences of jammers Black Market Baby and Brickyard made some wonder how the ARRG braintrust would be able to fill the gaps and which blockers would inevitably don the “star panty.”
By taking a normal blocker out of the pack configuration, this meant that the workload would increase for all involved. That’s not easy against the hard-hitting, multi-positional athletes that Ohio has on the roster.
In short, if Arch Rival wanted to net the “W” over the Buckeyes, it arguably had to play its best bout this season…if not ever.
And they did.
The 71-point win proved that the squad can achieve, even if the deck was stacked against them on paper pre-bout.
“It was a really hard-fought tough game, because Ohio is an excellent team, but this is something we really, really wanted, especially after the tough rivalry last season,” said ARRG blocker/jammer Smarty McFly afterwards. “This was a notch in our belts, I guess, after those two losses to them last year.”
It didn’t take long for the locals to gain an advantage. It was a quick sprint out of the gates.
After Ohio’s Phoenix Bunz posted a two-point bout-opening jam, Arch Rival went on a 26-0 run over the next four rotations. Back-to-back four-pointers scored by South City Shiner and Mighty Mighty Boston gave the locals an 8-2 edge four minutes deep.
May Require Stitches’ natural 17-pointer on the next jam stretched the margin to 25-2. Shiner concluded the 26-point run with a solo point, which gave ARRG a 26-2 lead with 24:45 left in the period.
Following a scoreless rotation, Ohio rallied with a power jam by derby sophomore The Smacktivist, whose 17-1 scoring strike at 20:40 whittled the ARRG margin to 30-19.
Arch Rival calmly responded with another 26-0 rally over seven jams that widened the gap. Shiner’s five was followed by a pair from Boston that stretched the ARRG lead to 37-19. At 16:50, Stitches added seven to extend the lead to 44-19. Shiner’s solo point was followed by seven from Boston at 14:29 that widened the gap to 52-19.
A solo tally from The Educator was followed by a trey from Shiner, which concluded the 26-point uncontested run and gave Arch Rival a 56-19 lead with 12:00 left in the period.
An 8-4 jam by Boston followed on the next rotation, which was then followed by three from The Educator. Combined with the rally, ARRG had now notched up nine consecutive lead jams, culminating in a 67-23 lead with 8:45 left.
And all went well after that…well, not quite! After all this IS the extremely-talented Ohio squad that ARRG was playing against.
The visitors netted 24 straight points on the next four jams. The hard-charging Bunz baked a 14-0 strike with 7:35 to start the rally. Kitty Liquorbottom notched three on the next rotation to narrow the margin to 67-40. The Smacktivist posted four and Liqourbottom added another three points to finish the uncontested run and pull OHRG within striking distance, a 67-47 ARRG advantage with 4:11 left.
ARRG responded with points collected off a power jam spread over two rotations. Shiner and Educator each scored four in the mix and stretched the margin to 75-47 with 1:45 left in the period.
Ohio netted lead in the last two jams of the frame to end on a high note. Liquorbottom’s solo point was followed by Bunz’ four-point strike as time concluded.
Despite having a first-period advantage in lead jams (15-7), ARRG only had a 75-52 lead at intermission. The late surge by the Buckeyes, who were down by as many as 44 points eight minutes earlier, made ARRG reflect on what worked well and, conversely, what didn’t in the first half.
“We realized that (Ohio was) getting points when our defense was frazzled or when we started going to the box,” said ARRG co-captain Shimmy Hoffa of the halftime locker room chat. “We talked about the different areas that we needed to tighten up on and knew that we had to capitalize on certain opportunities in the second half.”
Ohio wisely rolled out Bunz with the star on the helmet for the opening jam of the second period. The strategy worked to perfection as Bunz notched eight and made the bout a 15-point affair, 75-60 with 28:45 left.
Then came the opportunities that Hoffa and her sistren were anticipating. Arch Rival unleashed a defensive beast that Ohio wasn’t prepared for, which resulted in a 43-0 rally for the locals that opened eyes. Most surprising was the opening rotation that resulted in an even-strength 25-pointer collected by Shiner that extended ARRG’s lead to 100-60 with 25:30 left.
Eight via Boston’s power jam on the next rotation continued the surge and stretched the margin to 108-60. After Educator collected three on the next jam, Stitches hemmed-in seven with 21:10 left to conclude the streak and widen the advantage to 118-60.
Ohio’s The Smacktivist helped stopped the bleeding by notching lead, scoring 14 points and whittling the ARRG lead to 118-74 with 19:00 left.
However, ARRG responded with a two-jam, 21-0 scamper. Boston’s 12-point power jam strike was followed by McFly’s nine-pointer at 16:10 left that stretched the lead to 139-74.
Once again, the Arch Rival blocking schema flexed its muscles in the second period and kept the visitors at bay. Thanks to the work of the aforementioned McFly, Hoffa, Educator and Stitches, as well as Chewblocka, Mayor Francis Slayer, Grave Danger, Rhino-Might, Science Friction and the returning Eli Wallop, ARRG held Ohio – a team that had scored over 200 points in each of their prior victories this season – to only 22 second-half points midway through the frame.
“The blocking was able to dominate most of the game,” said McFly of the stubborn defense. “I thought our team had control and that was really an awesome feeling.”
As a direct result, Ohio struggled to gain any kind of momentum as the period progressed and ARRG continued to methodically post points. The Educator scored eight with 5:55 left and ARRG comfortably maintained a 175-89 lead.
Despite a late-bout Ohio surge to tighten the final differential, Arch Rival outscored OHRG in the second period 104-56 to pick up the 179-108 win.
Revenge of the two losses experienced last year? It seemed that ARRG wrote the receipt Saturday night.
“We definitely wanted a little retribution for our performance at playoffs (in 2012) and we wanted to hold onto our ranking,” said Hoffa after the bout. “Hopefully, we will be one of the teams to watch from now on.”
ARRG netted its second straight win and maintained its perfect record at Midwest Sport Hockey (10-0). Boston paced the locals with 52 points unofficially, followed by 48 from Shiner.
The Ohio bout kicked off a very busy May for the locals. The ARRG All-Stars travel to Bloomington, Indiana to face Bleeding Heartland (WFTDA #41) this coming Saturday. A preview of this upcoming bout follows this set of recaps.
ARRG then travels to Indianapolis to face #16 Naptown on May 18 and then embarks on an in-state commute to Fort Wayne in order to play #43 Dutchland at the 2013 Spring Roll Invitational the next day.
Saturday’s win most definitely gives Arch Rival a boost of confidence heading into back-to-back weekends against Hoosier rollers.
“It’s the momentum we want going into a hard stretch of travel that we have,” said McFly.
But don’t expect the locals to rest on their laurels as the month progresses.
“There are always things that we can fix,” said Hoffa. “The goal is to always play at the highest level that we can. Every game is going to be an opportunity for us to learn something new about ourselves as a team. We’re just going to keep plugging away at it.”
The Smacktivist topped Ohio scoring with 54 points, followed by 32 from Phoenix Bunz. Ohio (7-2) meets the Blue Ridge Rollers (WFTDA #44) at home this Saturday.
ARCH RIVAL ALL-STARS (179): Mighty Mighty Boston 52, South City Shiner 48, May Require Stitches 39, The Educator 23, Smart McFly 17.
OHIO ROLLERGIRLS (108): The Smacktivist 54, Phoenix Bunz 32, Paige Bleed 9, Kitty Liquorbottom 8, HellionBOI 5.
ARRG SAINT LUNACHIX 242 OHIO GANG GREEN 70
In the last meeting between the two squads a year ago at Midwest Brewhaha, Ohio slapped a 42-point loss on the Saint Lunachix. Much like the ARRG All-Stars, the Lunachix had cautious revenge in its mindset Saturday night.
The plan implemented was executed to perfection in the 172-point thrashing of Gang Green. For the second straight bout at Midwest Sport Hockey, the Lunchix utilized a perpetual offense and a stifling defense to dismantle its opponent.
“I was really nervous coming into this one,” said Lunachix blocker The Forecloser. “I think we were all nervous, but it turned out well.”
Perhaps that’s a humble understatement by the veteran. In hindsight, things turned out so well that there was little to critique in the Chix performance…and it certainly erased all memories of the setback suffered the last time out.
Three lead changes marked the first six minutes of play. Following EnYa Nightmare’s five-pointer scored with 24:00 left, the Lunachix possessed a 9-5 lead.
This began a 20-0 rally for the locals. IDA the Living Dead followed with a dozen points on the next rotation and Killer Painguin added three at 21:40 to complete the run and extend the Lunachix lead to 24-5.
A 4-3 non-lead strike by Chix newcomer She-Ra Powers at 19:40 pushed the margin to twenty, 28-8.
Gang Green took advantage of opportunity in jam nine and tightened the gap. A 15-8 power jam collected from Ohio’s Texas Chainsaw Sasskicker narrowed the Chix lead to 36-23.
Nightmare collected nine on the next rotation to push ARRG’s lead to once again over twenty, 45-23 with 15:00 left in the period.
In the second half of the first period, the Lunachix widened the differential with solid work, inevitably resulting in a comfortable lead at intermission.
Painguin scored a 14-pointer with 11:43 left to extend ARRG’s lead to 59-26. Powers added four on the next rotation and Nightmare’s 13-5 power jam with 8:30 left pushed the scoreboard to 76-31.
Painguin later added a pair of points and Powers powered 14 to extend the Lunachix lead to 92-31 with 4:10 left.
The Lunachix possessed a 105-44 advantage at intermission and were far from finished in showing their dominance.
“We just needed some time to clean things up and figure out (Ohio’s) play,” said Lunachix blocker Pink Diamond. “Once we got that figured out, we were able to shut them down.”
And boy, did they ever in the second period!
Nightmare netted nine for the locals from the onset and widened the lead to 114-44. Ohio countered with ten points over the next two jams to cut the gap to 114-54 with 26:00 left.
The Lunachix responded to the Gang Green mini-rally with a 28-0 spike. Concluded with Powers’ 12-point power jam scored with 21:00 left, St. Louis extended its lead to 142-54.
Up 152-66 with 14:00 left, the Lunachix went into “lockdown mode” and held Ohio scoreless for thirteen minutes. ARRG blocking was at its best during this stretch, paced by the aforementioned Diamond and Forecloser, as well as Morgan LeFaetal, Party Foul, Ginny Beastley, The Siege, Hydrogen Bombshell, The Ginger Assassin and the returning Deathica Steele.
In the process, the Lunchix notched up a 76-0 rally that clinched the bout, highlighted by a 24-point power jam by IDA the Living Dead scored with 9:08 left.
The Lunachix outscored Gang Green 137-26 in the second period to net the 172-point win and its third straight victory.
“I was surprised because it seemed like we in the box so much, but we pulled through and we were able to keep their jammer from scoring,” said the Forecloser following the bout that improved the Lunachix record to 4-1.
Four ARRG skaters notched over 40 points individually. Nightmare scored 86 points unofficially, followed by IDA’s 61.
More importantly, the Lunachix continued to display its depth with the win. Even with adjustments to the line-up, the team was firing, proverbially, on all cylinders. That makes one feel good with the upcoming heavy docket of bouts over the next four weeks. The Lunachix will have battles with the b-squads of Bleeding Heartland, Naptown, Detroit, Windy City and Brewcity.
The Lunachix carry a charter of twenty talented skaters and have to submit a starting roster of fourteen for an individual bout. The team’s depth and skill set recently displayed could potentially result in a decisive edge in future bouts against their Midwestern counterparts.
“We’ve got a huge advantage because we know our charter can fill our roster,” said The Forecloser. “We know that those rosters are going to be loaded and ready to go.”
IDA the Living Dead and The Siege were selected by Ohio as ARRG’s MVP Jammer and Blocker, respectively.
Gang Green (2-4) was paced by Burnadeath’s 23 points.
ARRG SAINT LUNACHIX (242): EnYa Nightmare 86, IDA the Living Dead 61, Shear-Ra Powers 51, Killer Painguin 44.
OHIO GANG GREEN (70): Burnadeath 23, Elektra Magneto 21, Texas Chainsaw Sasskicker 16, Paige Bleed 6, Shreadhead 4
ARRG TEAMS BLOOMINGTON BOUND THIS SATURDAY!
The rollers from St. Louis have little time to rest following this past weekend’s sweep. Both the ARRG All-Stars and the Saint Lunachix travel to Bloomington, IN to face the squads of the Bleeding Heartland Rollergirls this Saturday.
In the main event, the ARRG All-Stars (WFTDA #13) face the Bleeding Heartland Flatliners (WFTDA #41). Prior to that match-up, the Saint Lunachix (4-1) face BHRG’s Code Blue Assassins (4-4).
The action takes place at BHRG’s Cardiac Arena in Bloomington. The b-team bout begins at 6 pm Eastern/5 pm Central and the A-team action follows. For St. Louis fans travelling, tickets are $20 at the door.
(Muckety Memo: As of press time, LIVE webstream coverage of the event will be available at no cost, courtesy of BHRG. Check Bleeding Heartland’s official website RIGHT HERE later in the week for more details.)
The ARRG All-Stars posted a 173-58 win over the Flatliners at Midwest Sport Hockey one year ago in the inaugural match-up between the two leagues.
The full line-up is back for the ARRG All-Stars this Saturday and they look for its second straight win over Bloomington, a task they know won’t be easy even though the distance between the two leagues in the WFTDA hierarchy is noticeable.
“They’re ranked considerably lower than us, so the goal is not to underestimate them,” said ARRG blocker Shimmy Hoffa of the match-up. “They have very talented skaters. Every point counts with the new (WFTDA) rankings system. We need to make sure we get every point we can and play as hard as we can.”
BHRG’s Kaka Caliente. Photo credit: BHRG.
Bleeding Heartland (6-5) has been a team on the post-season bubble the past few years. In 2012, they finished the WFTDA North Central region ranked eleventh.
With the new WFTDA rankings methodology in 2013 that eliminates regional boundaries and grants the “Top 40” international leagues post-season berths, the #41 Flatliners are more than primed to make its first-ever post-season appearance.
Their schedule has been very active this season (11 bouts in four months) and a win over ARRG this Saturday night most certainly puts them into playoff contention.
They’ll attempt to achieve this feat at the friendly confines of Cardiac Arena, a converted warehouse that has seen plenty of victories.
BHRG’s Nuck L. Sammie. Photo Credit: BHRG
BHRG has home wins this season over Brewcity (WFTDA #32), Cincinnati (#38), Grand Raggidy (#48), Burning River (#56) and Old Capital City (#67).
This past weekend, they hosted Brewcity and Steel City (#22) in a three-bout invitational called TARDIS (Triple Action Roller Derby in Space.) The 202-149 loss to Steel City and the 305-247 win over Brewcity pushed their team’s record to 6-5.
This squad contains the experience and firepower to make a push into the WFTDA post-season picture. Even though they suffered a 115-point setback to Arch Rival last year, this team is definitely stronger in 2013.
At the forefront of Bleeding Heartland jamming is a solid trio, paced by veteran Flatliner Kaka Caliente, grinder Nuck L. Sammie and the hard-charging Terror D’Bits. They are supplemented by a talented roster of blockers: Bobbi McGuillotine, Naylor Coffenshutt, Shifty McGee, Mauls Dolls, Special Sass, Bombshell Shock, Manda Runyon, Shock N’ Roll, Pele’s Melee and Aceta Menacin’.
BHRG’s Mauls Dolls. Photo credit: BHRG
The Flatliners are put into a situation this Saturday where they have potentially “everything to gain” in the bout against the ARRG All-Stars. St. Louis is the highest-ranked WFTDA squad that BHRG will face this season. With the new mathematically-based WFTDA rankings system this year, how the Flatliners perform – even in a loss – could be instrumental in making the 2103 post-season. The new rankings system, based on algorithms, weighs a bout’s final differential and both respective league’s strength of schedule in a designated time period as variables in determining a league’s WFTDA ranking.
Long story short, the Flatliners need a strong performance if they want to keep its playoff dreams alive.
We’ll see how the drama unfolds!
In the undercard, the Saint Lunachix return to familiar stomping grounds to face BHRG’s Code Blue Assassins.
The Chix have played a majority of their 2013 bouts thus far at Cardiac Arena. The squad participated in BHRG’s “B-Cup Tournament” in February and finished the eight-team event third with a 2-1 record.
Although the Chix never faced the CBAs during the round-robin, the invitational did give the locals a chance to scout Saturday’s opposition.
The recent solid play of the Lunachix is going to show those in Bloomington how much they’ve progressed since its visit three months ago.
“We expect (the CBAs) to fight pretty hard, but I don’t think they expect how well we’re playing together as a team right now, “ said Lunachix blocker Pink Diamond of the match-up. “Our blockers have really gotten to know each other well to where we’re anticipating our own jammers and being able to clear the way for them.”
The CBAs Dare E. Eryn. Photo credit: BHRG
Much like its A-team sistren, BHRG’s Code Blue Assassins have had a busy 2013 thus far. The squad has victories over the b-teams of Fort Wayne (212-130), Grand Raggidy (164-161) and Burning River (230-84)
That, a split against the Cincinnati Silent Lambs and losses against the b-squads of Charm City, Ohio and Nashville has resulted in a record at the .500 mark.
The CBAs launch a jammer attack that includes Dare E. Eryn, Biscuit Cutter and newcomer Bipolar Curves. Blockers Uh Huh Hurricane, Patches O’ Houlihan, Manda Runyon and Mauls Dolls assist in laying down the foundation.
We’ll see if both squads of Arch Rival can continue to keep the momentum rolling following the Ohio sweep! We hope to see you in Bloomington this Saturday night!
ARRG TEAMS NET “TEAM OF THE WEEK” HONORS!
The recent success of the two primary ARRG travel squads has netted them televised honors. Both the ARRG All-Stars and the Saint Lunachix have been individiually awarded the “Papa John’s Team of the Week” from KPLR-TV on its “Sunday Sports Extra” program.
The sportscast, seen Sundays at 7:30 pm on KPLR, Channel 11, weekly recognizes an area sports team for its achievements.
This past Sunday, the ARRG All-Stars were given the award. The story featured an interview with co-captain Mayor Francis Slayer as well as highlights from the Ohio victory.
Go to THIS LINK RIGHT HERE to see the ARRG All-Stars’ “Team of the Week” feature.
In a future installment to be aired at a later date, the Saint Lunachix will be featured.
Congratulations to both squads for the recognition!
NEXT WEEK IN THE ARRG NEWSCENTER: Can the locals continue to keep the blood pumping at Cardiac Arena against Bleeding Heartland? We’ll have recaps from both ARRG games. Plus, if one thought that the season has been tough so far, a road trip to Naptown is right around the corner. The All-Stars battle #16 Naptown Tornado Sirens while the Lunachix face NRG’s Warning Belles. We’ll preview the Indy 5/18 double header. Also, the All-Stars venture up North the following day to participate at the 2013 Spring Roll. They face a new opponent that’s a perennial WFTDA playoff entrant, #43 Dutchland. Wow! So much going on and so much info to give!
Muckety Muck and Magilla Guerilla are bout co-announcers for the Arch Rival Roller Girls. Check back in this section on Mondays for the latest in ARRG news and information.