ATLANTA, GA — When the Windy City Rollers and the Denver Roller Dolls last met, it was a last-jam thriller, with the Mile High Club escaping Chicago with a nine-point win in their final game before playoff season began. This bout was penalty heavy for both teams but didn’t have any of those fireworks or late-game drama; Denver took the lead in the very first jam, and never relinquished it. The Mile High Club eventually booked their place in the semifinals for the second time in two visits to championships with a fairly comfortable 212-130 victory. Windy City, on the other hand, was ejected in their first game for the fourth year in a row.
Akers and Serelson contained Windy’s Kola Loka for much of the first jam to let Juska put up nine unanswered points to open the bout — a lovely hipcheck as the last line of defense followed by a clockwise apex jump from Akers to recycle Kola Loka turned what would have been a first lead call for Windy into a comfortable opening jam win for the Mile High Club.
Jam two didn’t look like it was going to go any better for the crew in black when Ska Face was sent to the box — but the Windy defense held Rangeon to five before Sargentina forced a major cut. Ska Face couldn’t score after being released, though, which left Denver with a 19-0 lead with almost five minutes gone.
Varla Vendetta put Windy’s first points on the board next time out after lining up unopposed; Jackie Daniels and Bork Bork Bork successfully held Rangeon at the front of the pack for long enough for Varla to put up two natural grand slams and a final two after Rangeon escaped.
Two later Rivas, Cruz and Serelson combined to bottle up Varla as Juska made it 29-12–but Juska was boxed. 10 for Varla lessened the deficit, as did a quick 4-0 for Ska Face over Julie Adams next time out.
Denver managed to snuff out Windy’s momentum over the next couple of jams before Serelson then controlled Kola Loka for almost a full two minutes as Sharpless lapped up the points before forcing a major cut on the Windy jammer with under ten seconds left in the jam, and the scoreboard reading 63-29 in Denver’s favor.
Rangeon got the chance to take advantage of that penalty and a 4:1 pack advantage, and added 18 before being boxed on a major cut that was entirely of her own making. Kola Loka couldn’t take advantage though, only managing to add two points across the minute she was unopposed.
Two jams later Rangeon was boxed for two minutes on another cut and a gross misconduct call after a spectacularly unsuccessful apex jump attempt as Yvette Yourmaker took the star for the first time. Yvette put up 24 that jam before Ska Face added 15 as she lined up unopposed to make it 94-74 in Denver’s favor.
Single digit jams for Denver edged them further ahead before Carson and the indomitable Serelson controlled Yvette Yourmaker for the entirely of a 24-0 jam for Juska. That was the last significant action of the half, leaving Denver with a comfortable 131-77 lead.
Kola Loka finally got the better of Serelson in the first jam of the second half as Bork Bork Bork worked some effective offense on the MHC blockers; further offense from Bork on Serelson gave Kola the full four on her second pass as Juska hit the back of the pack.
The next five jams saw Windy again nibble into the Denver lead before Rangeon had a big jam over KonichiWOW to make it 153-98 with just over 20 minutes left. Sharpless was the victim of a cutting track call after a battle with Sargentina, with the problem compounded by it taking a full lap of the track for the referee crew to actually communicate the fact she had committed a major penalty and sending her off. Juska and Carson combined in the pack to stop Yvette Yourmaker scoring for the entirety of Sharpless’ penalty. An official review followed that expunged the major from Sharpless’ record after it was deemed that the second player she was assessed to have cut was out of play at the time.
Denver limited Windy to three points in the next ten minutes as the pack speeds started to pick up, but they didn’t manage to edge much further in front. That changed when Sharpless and Ska Face were both boxed in quick succession before Ska Face was boxed for a second time in the jam on a fourth minor. That let Sharpless put up the first significant jam for a little while to leave Denver leading 177-101 with eight minutes left with a 10-0.
Denver had put 12 more on the board before a 20-0 for Kola Loka over Sharpless gave Windy a brief sniff of an improbable comeback — but a star pass to Akers ended the Windy pack’s domination of Sharpless and stopped what was already a bad jam for the Mile High Club becoming a catastrophic one.
Windy did get a run of lead jam calls towards the end, but Denver maintained control by keeping the packs fast and breaking their jammers out. The final jam ran the whole two minutes after Kola Loka was boxed, and Juska was just happy to see the bout out. The Mile High Club finished 212-130 victors, and head to the second semifinal at 8.30pm against the winner of Gotham and Naptown.