Championships Semifinal: 1W Oly Fends Off Determined Challenge From 2SC Kansas City, 124-104

BROOMFIELD, CO – The Kansas City Roller Warriors, after arguably two upset back-and-forth victories, earned this shot at the finals tomorrow. But to get there, they’d have to take on the Oly Rollers, the winningest WFTDA team ever, who have never lost a WFTDA sanctioned game to anyone but Rocky Mountain. Oly rolled over Philly and looked primed to do the same to Kansas City. But Kansas City kept it surprisingly close in a powerjam-free first half which ended 60-36 in favor of Oly. In the second half, Kansas City surprised everyone except themselves, perhaps, by battling back to take the lead with a huge 25-point powerjam from Young. The lead changed hands three more times in the final 10 minutes, but Atomatrix was able to lead Oly to the final victory, 124-104.

It was Kansas City who came out of the chute firing. Good work by Bella Fire at the front of the pack kept the Oly Roller jammers under control to recover from an initial 1-0 deficit to take a 7-2 lead, mostly from Case Closed working around a tough two-wall of Sassy and LiL ToNKa. Atomatrix, however took the lead for Oly with 10 points as Tannibal Lector and Wheel-Her kept Hall Balls under control. Oly ran a streak of grabbing lead for 5 straight jams and Stella Italiana, Atomatrix, and Licker*N*Split stretched the lead up to 32-11 as Heffer, Hockey Honey, and D-Bomb led the shutdown defense.

Young burst through the pack to get a quick 4-0 back for Kansas City but momentum was lost the following jam as Sassy, Hockey Honey, and Wheel-Her rotated booty blocks on Case Closed, exhausting her, as Tannibal Lector rattled off 14 to increase the Oly lead to 46-15. With twelve minutes to go, Kansas City made their move. Despite getting forced into minor cuts by big hits from Tannibal Lector and LiL ToNKa, Jade Lightning struck for 10 points as Hard Times could not escape the blocking of Belle Fire to grab lead jam and call it off until a minute-and-a-half had passed.

Trauma, making her first jammer appearance of the weekend for Kansas City, in place of the injury-reserved Track Rat, came quickest out of a stoppped pack to get 3 more and the gap narrowed to 53-29. Two jams later, Jade Lightning was first out but did not have lead. When Stella Italiana broke out, however, she did not call off the jam and Jade Lightning won the 7-1 matchup and the score was now 55-36. It stayed that way until the final jam of the half where Atomatrix absorbed a big hit from Eclipse and still managed to win a 5-0 as Bella Fire was unable to escape the pack led by Hockey Honey for almost the full two minutes. Halftime, the score was 60-36 in favor of the Oly Rollers, after a remarkably clean thirty minutes with no powerjams.

That streak ended in the second jam of the new half as Jade Lightning used the powerjam plus a 3-1 pack advantage to score 14 behind the blocks of Annie Maul to narrow the gap to single digits, 62-54. After Atomatrix won a 5-0 back for Oly, Young and Trauma grabbed a couple of 4-0′s for the Roller Warriors, winning the crowd ot their side. With the score, 67-62, Atomatrix was called off for a cut and Jade Lightning immediately ended the jam. With the crowd chanting “Kelley Young,” she took to the line alone and bounced off Heffer and then sprinted around the pack multiple times for 25 points. As Atomatrix rejoined the track, she sprawled out on the ground after a hit, tripping Young, and sending her right back to the box. Kansas City had taken the lead 87-67 with 19 minutes to go.

After Trauma extended the underdogs’ lead by 4, Atomatrix began to reassert her team’s control. As Sassy played great defense on Jade Lightning, despite being surrounded by Kansas City blockers, Atomatrix got 8 back. Then three jams later, Hockey Honey forced Young out. Young weighed the options then stepped back in ahead of the Oly blocker and was sent to the box on her fourth minor to give Oly their first powerjam. Atomatrix took advantage for 15 points to bring Oly back within 1. A huge arm-whip by Tannibal Lector threw Stella Italiana through the pack for 9 more as Young sought to rejoin the pack and Oly had the lead back at 99-91 with 10 minutes to go.

Oly led a very slow start to the next jam but it was Trauma who was able to leap out first, fighting past Hockey Honey to grab 10 points and a 101-99 lead back for Kansas City as Licker*N*Split went to the box. The Oly Rollers defense came up large to kill off the rest of the penalty and Young was only able to add on 3 more. Then it was Hall Balls’ turn to go to the box, and Atomatrix scored another 15-point powerjam, blasting through the stoped pack as Archie Lee was goated. Oly had the lead again at 114-104 with less than 5 minutes to go.

The hitting got harder and more desperate as both teams realized a trip to the finals was theirs for the taking and the boxes filled up. Stella Italiana finished up the powerjam with another 8 to bring the score up to 122-104. Sassy and Blonde an’ Bitchin worked Young with a two-wall to shut her out as Atomatrix tacked on 2 more. With a minute-thirty to go, Atomatrix was called for a cut and sent to the box, but instead of a powerjam chance for Trauma, she followed her to the box almost immediately with her fourth minor on a back block, which ruined the last-ditch comeback attempt. Oly breathed a huge sigh of relief and moves on to the finals to take on Gotham, tomorrow, to see who will take home the Hydra for a second time.