West Region Playoffs Preview

West Region Playoffs Preview Oly and Rocky Mountain players go down in a pileup in last year's Western Regionals championship bout. Oly won that game 119-64, but Rocky Mountain came closer in a 121-101 match this year. Photo: Axle Adams.

Watch whistle to whistle coverage of the 2010 WFTDA Western Region playoffs right here on DNN. Production brought to you by Blaze Streaming Media with commentary support from the Derby News Network.

Opening Round: #8W Duke City vs #9W Tucson
10:00 AM, Friday, October 1

The history of these two teams goes back to the beginning of modern derby — with their first meeting coming before the overwhelming majority of flat-track leagues were even formed — and there’s some interesting parallelism in their fortunes. In addition to having split the four games they’ve played, they’ve also each reached the national championship tournament once, Tucson in 2007 and Duke City in 2008. They’ve also both had struggles dealing with the simultaneous exodus or retirement of a large group of their core.

In December 2006, the then-dominant Tucson team whacked Duke 139-28 and then again at the first Western Regionals in February 2007, 166-41. After Tucson’s trip to the 2007 Nationals, though, they had a tough rebuilding year in 2008, since which they’ve not regained their previous stature as a national force. The next two meetings were much later and went a lot better for the Duke girls with two wins – 131-80 in August 2009 and 142-62 at last year’s Western Regionals.

Duke City’s roster has dramatically changed since last year’s Westerns, with the majority of the veterans having transferred to other leagues. Kamikaze Kim has gone to Rat City, Dahmernatrix to San Diego and Amanda Jamitinya to Rocky Mountain, while standout jammer Muffin left the team in the spring and Death Ro is not currently skating.

With their current roster being rookie-heavy, their results have slipped accordingly. Overall, they’re 5-4 on the year, but the slide is most directly evidenced by two results against Pikes Peak this year — in April, they easily handled PPDD 221-91, but Duke dropped their most recent game to Pikes in August, 171-124. As Pikes Peak didn’t qualify for this tournament (ranked just out of the invites at #11 in the region), that loss could presage a rough weekend for the Albuquerque crew.

Tucson’s most impressive win this year was a 9-pointer over Montreal in February, though Montreal improved rapidly over the course of this year and doesn’t seem to be the same team that dropped that bout. They have gone 5-3 this year, but the wins have all been over teams that did not qualify for Westerns (Pacific, Pikes Peak and Slaughter County) while the losses have all been blowouts to other tourney participants (127 points to Oly, 129 to Jet City, and 215 to Rat City.

The winner of this game takes on Oly at 6pm on Friday.

H2O Elvira Mental // K9 Brutalitar // 11 Killer Queen // 12 Sixty Seven Stitches // 24 Justin Beaver // 28 Hot Box // 80D Meep Meep // 138 Carson B. Demented // 187 Doom Dee Doom // 211 Miss L. Command // 314 Tronsexual // 321 Savage Scout // 400 Spic N’ Span // 505 Sabrosa // 708 Razor Blaze // 711 Led Zyppin // 928 Cheryl Peril

3 Pinky McLovin // 7 Polly Graf // 10 Kosma Nauti // 11 Bianka Trohl // 18 Myna N. Possession // 22 Sami Automatic // 24 Blue Mauli // 26 Ferocious Oxide // 33 Pixie Axe // 62 Sassy Sue // 67 Helen Wheels // 86 Dirty Duchess // 187 Nockka Ho Down // 199 Haulin’ Hot Cakes // 217 Sunni Sideup // 273 Iva Coaldheart // 333 Deadlock Doe Holliday // 373 Bea N Hayve // 1134 Siren Nora // 1980 Metal Maiden

Opening Round: #7W Jet City vs. #10W Sacred City
12:00 PM, Friday October 1

Tournament hosts Sacred City will try to hang an early upset on a tough-to-figure Jet City team in the noon bout. Jet City (Everett, WA) is a relatively new league, having had their first WFTDA bouts in the summer of 2009. This year they turned some heads at tournaments by falling just short of Duke City at the Wild West Showdown 149-135 and also traveling far out of region to solidly defeat Arch Rival 162-108 at the Midwest Brewhaha; however, later results for both of those teams make them look a little less dangerous than they’d seemed at the time. Arch Rival finished tenth of 10 teams at the recent North Central playoffs, while Duke City has recently lost this year to non-tournament-qualifier Pikes Peak.

JCRG is 4-2 over the course of 2010, but their only taste of top-level competition has been a July bout against Oly, where Oly waltzed 225-83. It’s impossible to tell what Jet City may have learned from that loss, though, as they haven’t played publicly since.

The Sacramento team’s 3-3 season has been dotted primarily with narrow wins followed by blowout losses. They had one big win over developing Central Coast in February, along with close ones over Angel City (20 points) and Pikes Peak (22 points). Like Jet City, Sacred City also took a loss to Duke City at the Wild West Showdown, although Duke had a less stressful time with them in a 126-55 final. Sacred City was also handled by two teams on a 2010 comeback trail — Bay Area (121 points in April) and, most recently, Minnesota (145 points in August).

On paper, the results against shared opponent Duke City on the same weekend would seem to make Jet City a solid bet this weekend, but those games were over half a year ago. The outcome of this one may simply come down to which team applies the lessons of their recent blowout losses more effectively.

0 Jude O’Chopp // 1 Cia WoodnwannaBia // 6 Beelzababe // 8 Connie Torturous // 11 Ivana Hercha // 12 Nasty Nikki Nightstick // 17 Indy Pendant // 21 Snack Size // 25 Angelica Della Morte // 32 Ally Kazaam // 34 Mortica Militia // 40 Teeny Bopper // 44 Precious N. Metal // 52 Miss us Unshine // 61 Molly Python // 69 Trixxie’s Trash’n Em // 76 Bess B. Ware // 77 Retro Bution / 80 Fuzz-kill // 86 Sierra Fist

1 Neill n Weep // 8 Aly Sylum // 14 Chica Loca // 15 Cash Money // 16 Slingshot // 22 Slapjack // 23 Scarlet Reign // 24 Attila the Honey // 29 Spiller // 44 Four Closer // 53 Daddy’s Girl // 67 Rose Villain // 74 Shadow Soldier // 82 Jenergizer Bunny // 323 Buck U Up // 713 Sherlock Home Slice // 777 Foxy Knoxy // 789 Malevolent // 2010 Judy Jettison // 5150 La Locahontas

Quarterfinal: #4W Rose City vs #5W Rat City
2:00 PM, Friday, October 1

This matchup looks extremely likely to be the most exciting of the Friday action. Not only is it the first bout of the tournament that will see the elimination of one of the West’s deadly top six, it’s also a 2010 rubber match for the longtime Pacific Northwest rivals, as Rose City held off Rat City 124-105 in May but then took a 155-111 defeat to them in August. Given that history, this bout is essentially a toss-up — with room for only one team on the path to the championship tournament.

For Rose City in particular, there’s a lot of frustrating history at Western Regional events that they’d love to erase. Although they’ve almost always been one of the most dangerous teams in the bracket, the Portland crew has never been able to advance to the semifinals of Westerns, and they’ve only advanced past their first game once. 2007 saw them eliminated in a last-jam finish against Sin City, 2008 had them going out in a drag-out quarterfinal against Bay Area, and they were the victim of a seeding quirk in 2009 when 8 seed Rocky Mountain came in playing far over their previously demonstrated level and knocked 3 seed Rose out in Rose’s first game.

This year Rose City started very strong, establishing a 6-2 record that featured a 6 point loss to 2009 WFTDA champions and still undefeated Oly. Starting in late June, though, they had some surprising results. First, they had to come back from a 30 point halftime deficit to beat out Boston at ECE 87-61. And in August, they hosted the Hometown Throwdown event, where they lost to Rat City, were pummeled 190-63 by Gotham, and then came within one jam of a winless weekend but managed to edge out Bay Area, 133-129. They’re currently at 7-4 on the year.

Over on the Rat City side of things, the Seattle crew is 6-5 this year with a good range of results against top-level teams, having defeated multiple squads that have already qualified for the Championships (Philly, Charm City and Madison) or are virtually certain to do so (Texas). Additionally, they put up an impressive battle against Rocky Mountain this year, losing 144-107.

2009 Westerns marked the first time they did not advance to the national championship tournament, as they lost to Oly in the semifinal and then to Denver in the third-place game. The big new addition to Rat City this year is Duke City transfer Kamikaze Kim, but they’ve also got a breakout new force in Jalepeno Business, responsible for more than a few pivotal huge jams in high-profile games against Rose City and Charm City this year.

One notable difference in the Rose City look will be the absence of Licker N Split, who began the season with Rose City but is rostered by Oly in this tournament; should Rose get out of this one with the win, they’re likely to face their old teammate in a semifinal.

00 Kamikaze Kim // 5 Ann R. Kissed // 6 Anya Heels // 9 Sirius Mischief // 12 Carmen Getsome // 13 Kitty Kamikaze // 15 Mona Agony // 17 Ima Handful // 18 X-Khan // 21 Wile E. Peyote // 22 Jalapeno Business // 31 ReAnimateHer // 73 Primp Daddy // 76 Juliet Bravo // 79 Slutnik // 89 Ivana Clobber // 247 Hard Cora // 615 sHedonist // 711 Rebel Belle // 3000 Valtron 3000

2U Blood Clottia // 5 Mel Mangles // 8 Sully Skullkicker // 16 Fire Crotch // 20 SoulFearic Acid // 23 Wreck Deckard // 50 Axl Blows // 51 Shove Me Tender // 53 Mick U Cry // 55 Layla Smackdown // 72 Honey Hellfire // 74 Napalm Beth // 93 JK Rolling // 94 Scrappy Go Lucky // 140 Smack Ya Sideways // 210 Heidi Go Seek // 243 Scratcher in the Eye // 357 Rhea DeRange // 444 Mobi-Wan Kenobi // V8 Cadillac

Quarterfinal: #3W Denver vs #6W Bay Area
4:00 PM, Friday, October 1

Before the Hometown Throwdown event in August of this year, it looked like the Western Region playoffs would be the story of five teams fighting for three championship invites. After Bay Area rolled into Portland and played Rose City and Rat City in nearly perfectly even games (they lost to Rose City by 4 and beat Rat City by 1), the San Francisco crew had clearly demonstrated there was space for one more in that fight.

That being said, though, it looks like Denver will be a more formidable opponent for Bay Area than Rat and Rose were. They haven’t met head-to-head in sanctioned action previously, but when it comes to shared opponents, Denver has a noticeable advantage. Both teams played Philly this year on the East Coast; Denver narrowly lost 119-106 while Bay Area was swamped 203-99. And while Bay Area edged out Rat City by a point in August, Denver had a much easier time in a 70 point win over Rat in June.

Denver’s loss to Philly stands as their only one of 2010. Since finishing third overall in the 2009 WFTDA Nationals, they’re 7-1 with six blowout wins to their credit, including ones over Championships-bound Madison and Charm City. Their only narrow win was an 18-pointer over Texas in May.

Bay Area’s scores were absolutely all over the place in 2010, as 7 out of their 9 WFTDA-sanctioned bouts of the season ended with +100 point margins. They beat up badly on lowly ranked teams like Pacific, Sacred and Providence, but were in turn steamrolled by Philly, Rocky Mountain and Rose City. The first half of their Throwdown game against Gotham was fairly eye-opening — in the end they lost by 129, but were competitive for 30 minutes. They’d then go on to play the very close Rat and Rose games, and finished off their regular season with another big rout by taking out Cincinnati 174-69. All in all they’re 5-5 on the year.

If the seeding holds and Denver gets out of this one with a win, it’ll likely set up a rematch of the notorious 2009 Western semifinal against Rocky Mountain.

5 Deirdre Sage // 9 Vicky Cruz // 10 Danica Doležal // 18 Denise Dambrackas // 19 Julie Adams // 20 Monica Carson // 36 Alaine Olthafer // 90 Gabrielle Begeman // 99 Tracy Akers // 262 Andrea Hill // 303 Heather Juska // 311 Kim Wilms // 350 Jessica Rivas // 357 November James // 505 Shannon Dorato // 719 Amanda Sharpless // 831 Susie Long // 911 Teresa Rusk // 1055 Caitlin Preston // 1982 Ariel Quigley

0hh Slaybia Majora // 000 Demanda Riot // 1 Liza Machete // 4 Lusty Malice // 7 Friskie Meow // 16 BooYaYa! // 26 Chantilly Mace // 32 Nock Nock // 73 Frank n Hurter // 101 Astronaughty // 170c Sugar Pusher // 333 Burlybot // 360 Trixie Pixie // 500 Ivy Prophane // 666 Aunti Christ // 777 Jane Hammer // 888 Brawllen Angel // 1491 Windigo Jones // 1618 Velveteen Savage // 1619 Belle Right Hooks

Quarterfinal: #1W Oly vs #8W Duke City or #9W Tucson
6:00 PM, Friday, October 1

Oly’s 20-0 record in WFTDA-sanctioned action since joining the organization in January 2009, in addition to their dominating wins in previous matchups with Duke City and Tucson (180-53 earlier this year against Tucson, and 165-92 in last year’s Western Regionals against Duke) makes it improbable that Oly will have an early stumble in this tournament. Things get a bit more dicey after their first game. While Oly is still surely the favorite in all those possible matchups, at least 3 out of the 5 teams they could meet in the last two rounds have a good reason to believe that they could be the first one to end Oly’s record-setting win streak.

In the semifinals, they’ll be up against either Rose City (who came within just 6 points of Oly in February, giving them their closest bout of their title reign) or Rat City (who could not defeat Oly in a 2009 Regionals meeting, but did manage to keep it competitive in a 127-90 final). If they make it past here, they’ll reach a championship bout that could very well be featuring a Rocky Mountain team even more dangerous than last year. In the finals of last year’s Westerns, Oly won solidly, 119-64 — but RMRG put up a better fight in a rematch this year, 121-101.

It has been a few months since Oly has gone up against serious competition — in June, they hosted and defeated Texas in a 123-75 final, and since have played two no-contest games against Tucson and Jet City. It’s worth noting that didn’t seem to hamper them much in 2009, where they didn’t play high level competition from April to October but still took it all in the tournament season.

Debuting as an Oly all-star this weekend is ex-Rose City standout Licker N Split, who joins Harmony Killerbruise (ex-Minnesota), Clitty Clitty Bang Bang (ex- Pikes Peak) and Deadly Aim, Rettig to Rumble, Femme Fatale, Blonde an’ Bitchin and D-Bomb (all ex- Rat City) as Oly all-stars who began their careers with other leagues.

03 Atomatrix // 2 Sassy // 2TON Heffer // 2X Scara ta Death // 4X4 Wheel-Her // 5 B Tease N // 8 D-Bomb // 9 Tannibal Lector // 9MM Clitty Clitty Bang! Bang! // 18 Femme Fatale // 22 Riot Girl // 27 Trickk Tracy // 28 Blonde an’ Bitchin // 29 Rettig to Rumble // 38 Deadly Aim // 75 Harmony Killerbruise // 523 Licker*N*Split // 911 Intended Anger // 1964 Mary Stoppins // TK0 Punching Judy

Quarterfinal: #2W Rocky Mountain vs. #7W Jet City or #10W Sacred City
8:00 PM, Friday, October 1

Like Oly’s 6pm game against the 8 or 9 seed, the final game of Friday’s action seems certain to be a warmup game for the high seed and a high-profile learning experience for the low seed. Rocky Mountain has been on fire in 2010 with a 9-1 record — and that loss was the very definition of a quality loss, a 20 point decision against nearly untouchable Oly. Impressively, Rocky Mountain has dropped nearly triple-digit blowouts on the top-ranked teams from two different regions this year with their big wins over the North Central’s Windy City (151-56) and South Central’s Texas (163-64).

Rocky Mountain is nearly a lock to end up in the semifinal, where they will face either Denver or Bay Area. RMRG and Denver met in both the semifinals of the 2009 Westerns and in the third-place game of the WFTDA Nationals that year; RMRG took the first meeting 122-107 but lost the second 151-103 in part due to having lost the epically talented DeRanged after she was booted from the tournament for fighting.

With both teams having had a year to make new plans for their crosstown rivals, it’s hard to say if either team has a major advantage over the other. However, last year, Rocky Mountain came into the tournament as the 8 seed but had added critical Pikes Peak transfers in sisters DeRanged and Psycho Babble along with Ecko. This year, Rocky picks up two new faces from regional rivals: Amanda Jamitinya, a nimble and very hard-hitting blocker transfer from Duke City, and Fiona Grapple, previously of the Denver Roller Dolls.

00 Urrk’n Jerk’n as Booty Blockya // 3 Catholic Cruel Girl // 8 Winona Fighter // 9 Amanda Jamitinya // 9er Uber Alice // 10 RoboFlow // 21 Psycho Babble // 27 DeRanged // 31 Fiona Grapple // 40 Red Die // 52 Whipity Pow // 57 Annia LateHer // 86 Assaultin’ Pepa // 88 She Who Can Not Be Named // 99 May Q Pay // 100 BATass // 202 Frida Beater // 555 Barbie Boop // 811 Flame N Fury // 1972 Ecko