The Dairyland Dolls and the Cincinnati Rollergirls' all-star team, the Black Sheep, seemed made for each other. Both teams like to score, both can skate fast or stop their defense on a dime, and both live or die on the power jam. There were plenty of all three on Sunday afternoon in Green Bay at the WFTDA North Central Regional Tournament in a nail-biter of a third-place bout.
The tenor of the game was set in the opening jams. Jewels of DeNile put up a 19-2 score with a 4-2 pack advantage while Cincinnati jammer K. Lethal sat in the penalty box. Madison returned the favor on the very next jam, with K. Lethal making up lost ground with a 19-4 score as Lil Miss Behavin’ took a seat in the box herself.
And so it went. Cincinnati went up 50-34 after four more DD jammer penalties (with two more on their part). A nifty eight points from Lil Miss and some poor point management from the Black Sheep brought the teams to a near tie, 66-67.
With a trip to the WFTDA Championships on the line, there were numerous meetings between the refs and team captains and among the officiating crew. Late in the first half, Madison's Vicious van GoGo laid a hard hit on Black Sheep jammer Wheezy as the jam whistle blew. Vicious was called for a low block and nearly ejected based on gross misconduct (blocking after the jam ended). After a five-minute conference with the tournament's head referee, the hit was declared legal and Vicious stayed in the game. At the half, the Dolls led 78-71.
After blocking in the first half, Darling Nikki stepped into Madison’s jammer rotation. She promptly earned her own trip to the box, but so did K. Lethal. Back and forth went the game in small steps. Finally, with under 18 minutes left in the game, K. Lethal’s fifth penalty led to 14 points from Nikki and 11 from Jewels, and the DDs were on top again with some breathing room, 123-99.
Hold on, folks - it wasn't over yet. With under ten minutes remaining, Mouse re-rentered the track after sitting out a major penalty, only to go back almost immediately for accruing her fourth minor, allowing Hannah Ouchcinco to change the lead on a 29-0 power jam. In the next jam, K. Lethal earned her seventh trip to the box, and thusly Cincy's locker room, while Mouse put the DDs back in the lead 132-128, with 5:37 left on the clock. Lethal’s fouling out of the game for seven trips to the box seemed to break Cincinnati's jammer rotation. A few jams later, with the score 137-132, Nikki would put the game out of reach on a 20-0 power jam.
The Dairyland Dolls now have a spot in Uproar on the Lakeshore, WFTDA’s Championship tournament, November 5-7 in Chicago. This will be their second trip to the big stage in as many years, and the first within driving distance of their home base.