RICHMOND, CA — A spirited 9W Wasatch team gave slightly favored 8W Angel City a tough run in the opening game of the WFTDA West region playoffs, but fell just a few points and one timeout short of a potential win. Angel City overcame severe trouble with second-half jammer penalties to triumph by ten points, 172-162, and advance to the quarterfinals.
Angel City was led by a 76-point performance from ace jammer Fifi Nomenon along with good work from Shiv and Duchess Von Damn in the pack,while Wasatch got solid offense from Ali3 Kitt3n and tirelessly effective defense from Skatey Gaga and The Instigator.
Although Wasatch picked up lead and narrowly won the first two jams to go up 4-0 early, it was a short-lived advantage. The teams traded jam wins to a new score of 14-11 favoring Angel City two jams later, and on jam 5 Angel City jammer Fifi Nomenon landed a huge hit on a 28-4 power jam that put Angel City solidly in front, 42-15.
Angel City never trailed after that jam, although they also rarely looked like they had the game completely in hand. The Angel City lead grew to 49-15 over two more jams before Moon Raker was able to get some points back in a 10-0 power jam against ACDG’s MickiSpeedia to close the gap to 49-25 with 16:30 to play in the first half.
But the LA girls bounced right back to respond — a brutal back wall of Krissy Krash, Breakfast, Cris Dobbins and Chica Go Lightning completely bottled up Wastach jammer Harry Slaughter to make it 57-25 next. Wastach called their first timeout at 15:12.
Two jams later, the underdog fans in the crowd popped big for a lead jammer status for Wasatch jammer Squid Vicious, but it turned into an Angel City power jam for Cris Dobbins, who used the Angel City passive offense to pick up a big whack of points for Angel City. That jam opened up looking good for Wastach, but ended up as a 20-2 for Angel City, moving the score to 80-27 with about 11 minutes to play in the half.
That was ACDG’s biggest advantage of the entire game. Ali3 Kitt3n finally got a good jam for Wasatch there, fighting her way past Duchess Von Damn, Shiv and Krissy Krash for an unanswered 7 points. That started a short run of lead jammer calls and a minor rally for Wasatch. Angel City called their first timeout at 81-44 with 5:42 in the first half.
But Wasatch kept coming. Wasatch pulled lead jammer status for Squid Vicious on the other side of the timeout and caught a bit of a lucky break when a major track cut for Squid was immediately followed by a major track cut for Angel City jammer Cris Dobbins, avoiding unopposed time. That jam ended in favor of Wasatch, 13-4, and moved the score to 85-57 with about three minutes in the half.
Angel City won the last two jams of the half, though, and at the break it was 102-57 Angel City.
Wastach jammer Squid Vicious busted a big run on the second-half opening jam as Angel City was reduced to just 2 blockers on the track, picking up a barely opposed 19-0 to close the margin to 102-71. Fifi Nomenon held lead for Angel City on the next, but couldn’t get a margin against Moon Raker on a lengthy 8-8 jam that moved it to 110-79.
After that opening couple of jams it looked like Wastach might be able to erase all of the margin, but Wasatch’s momentum was blunted by a jammer penalty on Ali3 Kitt3n. Though Wastach still won that jam 9-5, it marked the beginning of a rough patch for the underdogs. Angel City’s B-Train got some unopposed time on the other side of the penalty, and the Angel City passive offense against a light but tough Wasatch pack of just The Instigator and Skatey Gaga allowed B-Train to pick up 11 unanswered points. In more bad news for Wasatch, Ali3 Kitt3n went back to the box yet again at the very end of that one, and Ghetto Fabu-Lez picked up more points before being boxed herself. At the end of a very jammer-penalty-heavy sequence, Angel City had opened up their lead a bit at 134-91 with 20 minutes to play in the game.
Angel City kept hitting, moving the score to 151-93 over the next three jams. A power jam opportunity for Fifi Nomemon once again saw her up against a very light pack, ending in a 9-0 ACDG win and a new score of 160-93 with almost exactly a quarter to go.
It looked like Angel City was on the verge of putting it away there, but Wasatch wasn’t having it. A Wasatch rally led by big power jams from Moon Raker and Alli3 Kiit3n — and big defense from FlyGrrlMel, Smack and Deckher, Penny Slain and Colonel Skirts — allowed Wasatch to close the gap to 165-138 over the next four jams. With 7:19 to play, Wasatch was suddenly very much in the game and called their second timeout.
Wastach closed it to 165-140 with six minutes to play before Fifi Nomemon finally got a lead jammer status for Angel City — but then went right to the box for yet another Angel City jammer penalty. That allowed the Wasatch rally to continue — but with 4:09 to play and the score 169-150, Wasatch burned their final timeout, which proved a fatal mistake just a few minutes later.
Three 0-0 jams in a row kept the score frozen at a 19 point margin favoring Angel City with 1:56 left to play. Wasatch’s Moon Raker finally broke the stalemate by picking up lead after about a minute of battle — but she ran the clock into the last thirty seconds, and with Wasatch holding no timeouts, she was forced to try and erase the whole deficit in a single jam. She worked her away to a full-length 12-3 win over Cris Dobbins, but when time expired, the underdogs were still ten points down, 172-162.
Angel City will move on to play Rose City at 4pm today; Wasatch goes to the consolation bracket and faces the loser of Bay Area / Rat City at noon (Pacific) Saturday.