RICHMOND, VA–In the second bout of the WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs in Richmond, Virginia, the seventh seed Tampa Tantrums (#29 WFTDA) took on the 10th seed Terminal City Rollergirls (#38 WFTDA) in the latter’s first WFTDA playoff appearance. The game followed an odd rhythm, as Terminal repeatedly opened up significant leads only to see Tampa rally and nearly close the gaps; nonetheless, Terminal City never trailed after the game’s first jam and took the tournament’s second upset in a row, winning 180-154.
Tampa’s pre-game ritual consisted of a rousing singalong while Terminal pumped themselves up with bunny ears and curious noises. The game got underway with Terminal City’s luludemon against Tampa’s PhDiesel. PhDiesel pushed her way through and emerged with the first lead of the day. luludemon passed the star to Mackenzie in the first jam. Diesel got her 4 points and called it off.
Terminal City answered with a 63 point run over the next six jams. 24 of those points came from Kim Janna on the game’s first power jam, a PhDiesel track cut artfully forced by Buffy Sainte Fury. Both teams seemed to be having some penalty trouble, with the pack dwindling to a single blocker per side at one point.
Tampa took their first timeout at 22:10 to regroup with the score showing 63-4. In the 8th jam, Laryn Kill finally broke Tampa’s dry spell by capitalizing on a dropped helmet cover by Terminal City captain Barbarich. Scarlett Bloodbath picked it up for the second star pass of the day. That jam brought the score to 63-13 Terminal City.
Tampa’s Breezy looked to continue their comeback on the following jam, but luludemon forced a jammer-on-jammer track cut and sent Breezy to the box. She then started the third star pass of the game, but pivot MacKenzie was sent to the box and thoughtfully dropped the helmet cover on her way off the track. luludemon eventually picked it up and resumed jamming, but the confusion helped Tampa limit the damage to 7 points, for an effective penalty kill. That left things at 70-17 Terminal City.
Terminal continued to nickel-and-dime the Tantrums until 17 minutes into the game when Little A forced a track cut on luludemon for Tampa’s first power jam. Lil Bit capitalized to the tune of 15 points. She called it off with luludemon standing in the box and the score at 74-34 Terminal City.
The gap continued to close with a number of small gains by Tampa’s jammers, mostly unanswered. A 16 point jam by Apolo Ana was enabled by Alli-kat Scratch and Blacque Jac harrying Janna. Tampa had finally closed to within striking distance, 19 points away at 76-57 Terminal, when Terminal took a timeout with 5:49 remaining in the half. That timeout seemed to work out for them, as the score was 95-67 at the break–with two more star passes completed along the way.
After a 0-0 and 4-0 to begin the second half, Tampa got a much-needed break when Terminal jammer luludemon was sent off on both the 3rd and 4th jams on a high block followed by an illegal reentry. That led to 5-0 for Evada Peron and 15-0 for Apolo Ana; putting the score at 99-87 Terminal with luludemon still stuck in the box.
Tampa’s Smooth Operator just about finished closing the gap with the remainder of that power jam. She scored 12 points, bringing Tampa’s total to 99–which would have tied it up, except luludemon grabbed 2 points on her return from the box. With 21 minutes to play, it was a single-pass game at 101-99 Terminal, but that was as close as it would get.
After a couple of 4-0 jams, a track cut by Laryn Kill let Terminal drag their lead back out to 133 over 101. In what appeared to be a repeat of the bout’s start, Terminal City went on a 57-2 run, driving the score to 162-101 before Tampa scored again.
With about 13 minutes remaining, Terminal’s jammer Barbarich was sent off for a forearm penalty. She went out for another on the following jam, giving up back-to-back power jams which turned into 32 unanswered points for Tampa as the margin started to close back up. On her second return, Barbarich handed off her helmet cover to MacKenzie for the sixth star pass of the game, putting it at 162-133 Terminal.
Terminal’s Janna gave up a power jam a couple jams later with a back block after a rarely seen pivot line start. Tampa couldn’t get any points off it, as Smooth Operator called it off to preserve power jam time. Laryn Kill came in but only managed one scoring pass before Janna’s return. She got one more before calling it off, 166-142 Terminal.
A couple small scoring jams later, the score was 168-149 and Tampa took their final time out with 2:20 left on the clock. In what turned out to be the final jam of the game, Tampa’s Little A got lead but cut track and was sent to the box, closing the door on Tampa’s comeback. Terminal’s Barbarich kept fighting and extended their lead before Little A returned.
The jam clock expired with under 20 seconds left and the score 180-154 Terminal City. While Tampa had no timeouts remaining, they did have their official review left to stop the clock. With a 26 point deficit they were either unwilling to trigger a final jam or unaware they were able–to the apparent surprise of the Terminal City bench, who anxiously watched the remaining time tick off the clock before launching into celebration.
Terminal City’s 180-154 win puts them up against Texas at 6pm Eastern on Friday; Tampa heads to the consolation bout and will face the loser of Philly / Kansas City at noon on Saturday.