WASHINGTON, DC — With a decisive 106-64 victory over Providence, D.C. managed to finally break its years-long home-turf losing streak while bettering its hopes for a bid to this year’s WFTDA East Region Playoffs.
The bout started out immediately in D.C.’s favor when Providence jammer Craisy Dukes was sent to the box in the first jam, giving D.C. jammer Free Radical license to post two grand slams. It was hardly a harbinger of things to come, though, as the majority of the first half saw heavy defense and a relatively empty penalty box from both teams. Hard-hitting Providence blockers Hot Sauce, Bleeding Rainbow, Shelby Bruisin’ and Rhode Kill proved to be formidable obstacles for D.C.’s jammers, but their efforts were equally matched by a fierce D.C. blocking lineup that included Soledad, Hoova Dayum, Battery Operated and Obitchuary.
The score stayed nearly static for the first 10 minutes of the bout, but Providence finally managed to notch some points on the scoreboard with a series of hit-and-quit jams, bringing the total to 19-16 midway through the half. At the 7-minute mark, D.C. found a chance to pull away on a rare powerjam that allowed Sookie Slaughterhouse to post 8 unanswered points. Another 8-0 to Dr. SKabs a few minutes later (this time thanks to a strong D.C. back wall that proved inescapable for Providence’s Baby Fighterfly) put D.C. up 46-19 with just over two minutes to play in the half. The period closed out with two crowd-pleasing jams. First, D.C.’s Yankee Scandal took full advantage of another powerjam, zooming around to rack up 21 unanswered points; in the next jam, Providence’s Ruca A. Salt executed a well-timed hit on opposing jammer Sookie Slaughterhouse, forcing her back into the pack long enough for Salt to rack up a grand slam, bringing her team a hair’s breadth closer to the lead at 67-24.
The second half started with Providence at a slight disadvantage, having lost go-to jammer Craisy Dukes to a dislocated shoulder toward the end of the first half. But pretty soon, D.C.’s blockers became reacquainted with their old friend the penalty box, and Ruca A. Salt took advantage of Providence’s three-on-two pack advantage to add 9 unanswered points to her team’s total. That gain, however, was immediately followed by another explosive 15-point powerjam for D.C.’s Yankee Scandal, ratcheting up D.C.’s lead to 84-33. Scandal kept the momentum going a couple of jams later, capitalizing on a major back block call on Baby Fighterfly to clock a 12-3 in D.C.’s favor.
At just 10 minutes into the half, that would be D.C.’s last major point gain of the bout. But even going up against characteristically light D.C. packs, Providence never managed to mount a huge comeback. Instead, the heavy defense continued on both sides, resulting in a rash of 0-0 jams punctuated by a few hit-and-quits for either team. As the bout clock wound down to the single digits, Providence finally managed to gain some footing, holding D.C. virtually scoreless and adding 21 points to their total in the last 10 minutes of the bout (largely thanks to Ruca A. Salt’s 9-0 against D.C.’s Marion Barrycuda). But it was ultimately too late to close the gap entirely, and Providence finished the bout with a 42-point deficit at 106-64.
The results throw an increasingly muddled WFTDA East tournament picture into further disarray. Going into this game, Providence held the official #10 spot in the region while DC held the #11 spot; only the top ten teams as voted on at the end of the April-June quarter will be invited to the regional tournament. However, current #12 Suburbia narrowly defeated DC earlier in the quarter, 100-92, which leaves all three teams scrambling for that spot — with yet another potential factor in currently unranked London, who performed well in a 119-79 loss to #6 Steel City last month.
Suburbia does not get another chance to affect their own destiny by playing a higher-ranked team before the end of the quarter, but Providence will get a straight-up rematch against D.C. in less than two months as the two teams face off again at the East Coast Extravaganza. In the meantime, D.C. hopes to finally best Carolina (a team they lost to in February by just 5 points) at home on June 4, while Providence will try to put the brakes on Dutchland’s winning streak on May 21 in Rhode Island.
Full photo gallery from James Calder.