LINCOLN, NE — The third-place game of the Landlocked Lace-up was, like many of the weekend’s bouts, characterised by heavy penalties — and in this one, it was the jammer penalties that proved crucial. Tampa led through much of the first half but fell into a substantial hole after handing Kansas City two successive powerjams halfway through the second period. In the end, KC secured the final place at November’s WFTDA Championship Tournament with a 209-168 victory.
In a tournament characterised by micropacks, the battle for third place looked to set a new record for penalty heaviness, with three jammer penalties assessed in just the first four minutes of the match. By the time both jammers returned to the track, 6 minutes had elapsed and Kansas City had leapt out to a 40-12 lead, courtesy of a 27-point jam for Enigma.
With about ten minutes gone, a 4-2 pack advantage let Flirtin’ W Disaster put up a natural 9-0 over a stifled Hypersmacktivity, bringing the score to 44-25 in KC’s favor. The next two jams were a wash, both called off by Tampa for 0-0; Jammalamadingdong picked up the third conscutive lead jammer status for her team, which she translated into a natural grand slam before Reeses Tear You to Pieces escaped the pack en route to an 8-0. Halfway through the period, KC held an 11-point lead at 44-33 when Tampa called their first team time-out.
Tampa then picked up another power jam when Track Rat landed in the penalty box; skating against a 2-2 and then 3-1 pack, Tampa’s jammer added ten points before calling off the jam and handing Little A the star to finish out Track Rat’s penalty time.
With a 4-2 pack advantage, Little A brought Tampa into the lead — and as soon as Track Rat returned to play, she committed a major track cut and headed straight back to the box. KC continued to have major blocker penalty trouble — there were frequently just one or two blockers on the track. Track Rat returned to play with just a few seconds left and as the jam expired on time, Tampa had secured an 75-44 lead thanks to Little A’s 32-0, with just over 11 minutes remaining on the period clock.
The teams traded low-scoring passes and slight pack advantages over the next few minutes; there wouldn’t be a full pack on the track for the remainder of the half, as Tampa successfully defended their roughly 30-point lead — up until Tampa’s Reeses picked up a major back block as she completed her initial pass. Hypersmacktivity had already picked up a natural grand slam and, working with a 4-3, 4-2, 4-1 pack advantage, she brought KC within two points of Tampa. Reeses returned to play seconds before the jam, and the period, expired — and at the half, Kansas City trailed Tampa 87-89.
A string of jams with a 4-2 pack advantage let KC put up an unanswered 12 points to open the second period, giving them a 99-89 lead with 27 minutes remaining to play. The fifth jam of the half saw the first full pack in living memory and Flirting W Disaster picked up lead jammer status — but hit a three-wall of Kansas City and called the jam off from the floor, having picked up a single point but giving up 3 to KC’s Enigma.
The five-on-five action didn’t last long, though; in the very next jam both teams were down to just a pair of blockers. Trauma picked up two grand slams over Little A, leaving the score at 116-94 with six minutes elapsed. Four minutes later, she added another natural grand slam over Little A, bringing the score to 124-97 in Kansas City’s favor as Tampa called their second team timeout, stopping the clock with just over 20 minutes remaining to play.
The short packs continued, dwindling as low as 1 blocker apiece for several long seconds in one jam. Tampa utilized slight pack advantages to put up an unanswered 8 points, and then it was four apiece until Flirtin’ W Disaster landed in the penalty box for a major cut, handing Hypersmacktivity a power jam with a 4-2 pack advantage. By the time Flirtin returned to play, Kansas City had opened up a 161-112 lead with 14 minutes on the clock.
The next jam went 4-all and following that, Little A looked set to turn her 3-2 pack to her advantage before she committed a major forearm on her initial pass. In the ensuing power jam, Track Rat ran for 20 unanswered points over a dwindling Tampa pack before Little A returned. With 11 minutes remaining, Kansas City held a 189-116 lead.
After a couple of low-scoring jams for each team, Hypersmacktivity was sent to the penalty box as a decked Flirtin’ W Disaster called off the jam. Little A was sent out to begin the power jam and, with a 4-2 pack advantage, she added 15 before Hypersmacktivity returned to play. A went for one more pass to make it 14-0, bringing the score to 197-145 with Tampa trailing and 5 and a half minutes to play.
A lengthy official timeout at that point saw Annie Maul foul out; in the next jam, Taz Maniac turned a 4-3 pack advantage into a natural grand slam over lead jammer Bella Fire, who seemed content to run the clock — the net change on that jam was 9-4, pushing KC past the double century at 201-150.
In the next jam, both teams locked down their defence; it took more than 80 seconds before either jammer broke the pack and it wound up called off for 0-0 by Tampa. Little A added 5-0; in the next jam, Track Rat leapt out for a quick lead jammer call but got hung up on Tampa’s defence on her first scoring pass, allowing Flirtin’ W Disaster to get past her not once, but twice. With just a minute on the clock, though, it came a little too late and Track Rat ran out the clock rather than give Tampa the opportunity to call their last timeout. At the final whistle, Kansas City had secured a trip to Championships with a 209-168 victory.