CHICAGO, IL — Given the intensity and drama of Rocky Mountain’s hard-fought victory over Oly just a month ago in the championship bout of the West Region playoffs, it was hard to believe that it was possible for them to play a more exciting sequel. That was exactly what they did, though, delivering a classic that was evenly matched all the way through and featured two hugely dramatic lead changes in the final two jams. In the end, Rocky was just one point better — but that point was all they needed to become the 2010 WFTDA Champions by a final of 147-146.
Rocky Mountain wasted no time making an opening statement with a 12-0 win for DeRanged over Oly’s Heffer, who was lapped twice before finally breaking pack. After a couple of quickie 1-0 jams to Rocky, Oly got on the board with a 2-0 for Heffer, but it’d go to 18-2 for Rocky Mountain before Oly got handed a early powerjam on a very strange confluence of events.
Rocky Mountain’s Amanda Jamitinya had lined up to jam for Rocky, but was switched out at the last second for DeRanged. However, Amanda didn’t get fully off the track before the jam started, and received a minor for being an extra skater on the track — which was her fourth minor — and since she was wearing the jammer star at the time, she ended up being boxed as jammer in the following frame. The unopposed Atomatrix made Rocky pay for it with a 13-0, and suddenly it was a tight game at 18-15 with about 20 minutes left in the first.
The Rocky Mountain lead hovered in single digits for the next few jams and peaked at 11 points at 43-32 with about 12 minutes to play in the half. Unfortunately for Rocky Mountain, Oly’s Rettig to Rumble forced Whipity Pow into a big track cut at the end of that jam, and Oly’s Atomatrix dropped a 15-0 on the following powerjam to put Oly in front for the first time at 47-43. They’d hold the lead by a jam’s worth of points for most of the rest of the half, and going into the last jam of the half, they were up 59-49. However, they’d get their biggest jam of the game right there, a huge 25-0 powerjam for Atomatrix as RMRG’s Amanda Jamitinya and Winona Fighter had the rest of their team in the box. At the break, Oly held a 84-49 lead built almost entirely on Atomatrix’s powerjam victories.
Both teams seemed eager to stick with their strongest jammers as the second half began. Rocky put up Urrk’n Jerk’n As Booty Blockya and DeRanged back-to-back in the first seven jams of the half; Oly had Heffer and Atomatrix jam the first five before Tannibal Lector and Blonde an’ Bitchin joined in. After the teams traded jam wins to start off the second half, it was finally Rocky Mountain’s turn to get on the right side of a big powerjam. Oly was looking a 4-2 disadvantage in the pack and Heffer in the penalty box; Urrk’n Jerk’n As Booty Blockya rumbled for a 24-0 that effectively erased the impact of Oly’s half-ending blast. That made it 89-78 Oly with about 22:20 to play, and it’d also prove to be a critical contribution for Urrk’n, who was mostly marginalized by Oly blocking in the rest of the game — she scored 24 of her 34 game points on that one jam.
Two jams went scoreless before Tannibal Lector scored a 4-0 that was followed by a lengthy referee timeout with exactly 20 minutes left in the game, and Oly added 5 more to open up their lead to 98-78. Rocky Mountain had a big opportunity end up vanishing two jams later, when DeRanged had a minute to jam unopposed and scored 10 points before Oly got their jammer on the track — but then attempted to call off the jam while not lead. It was a fourth minor, and Atomatrix scored 13 in the same jam to win it. With 13 minutes left in the game, it was 111-93 with Oly still on top.
Rocky Mountain had narrowed it to 111-98 going into a full-length jam between DeRanged and Atomatrix. In a jam that was oddly reminiscent of a big jam in the last few minutes of their meeting at Westerns, Atomatrix found herself boxed on a 4th minor early in the going, and a tired but determined Deranged pulled out a 14-2 that got Rocky within just one point at 113-112. And on the following jam, almost the entire Oly pack went to the box – along with the jammer Atomatrix, who returned from her previous penalty only to get sent right back. That left a lot of space on the track for Frida Beater, who picked up 12 points and put Rocky Mountain back in the lead, 124-113, with six minutes left in the game.
RMRG suffered a significant loss on that jam, though, as Urrk’n Jerk’n As Booty Blockya fouled out. After a quick 1-0 to Heffer, there would be yet another full-length jam, this time 9-6 to Atomatrix over Frida Beater, and another major loss for RMRG, as Psycho Babble fouled out. To add to the trouble for Rocky Mountain, Frida also ended the jam in the penalty box. This left things at 130-123 Rocky Mountain with 2:23 on the clock — and Oly’s Tannibal Lector unopposed on the jam line.
Oly wasted no time picking up lead jammer, and Tannibal Lector was absolutely on fire in what looked, at the time, to be what would be the game-winning jam. Sassy, D-Bomb and B Tease N completely had Frida Beater’s number for almost the whole frame as Rocky’s blockers couldn’t build any walls. But after picking up 23 points, Tannibal was boxed on a back block, and Frida somehow found a way to get 8 points out of it. With 20 seconds remaining, Rocky Mountain called timeout to stop the clock, needing eight points to win the 146-138 game.
They’d give the star to Frida Beater for the third jam in a row, and she had the benefit of going up against a extremely light pack of just Femme Fatale and D Bomb for Oly and Amanda Jamitinya and Winona Fighter for RMRG. Frida was through quickly for lead and picked up her first five without too much trouble … and scooted through once again before Tannibal was able to get out of the box. When her jam ref showed she’d gotten the full 4, she’d scored exactly enough to win — and with no time remaining on the clock, called it off for an intensely dramatic 147-146 win.
Atomatrix had a huge impact as a jammer in this game, scoring 101 points all by herself and establishing a jammer point differential of +32; Rocky Mountain scoring was almost equally led by Deranged (52 points, +18 JPD) and Frida Beater (51 points, +11 JPD). Oly’s Sassy was voted tournament MVP.