ASHEVILLE, NC — In the kickoff matchup of WFTDA’s Asheville playoffs, 8th-seeded tournament vets Nashville went up against 9th-seeded tournament first-timers Oklahoma Victory Dolls. An up-tempo match saw Oklahoma lead from the first jam and never relinquish the lead; they advanced to the quarterfinals against behemoth defending champions Gotham with a convincing 224-120 win.
Oklahoma’s win was based equally on strong jamming from a deep rotation of T-Pain, Blood Born Pathogen, Jammin’ Jane, Czech 1-2 and Dolly Dynamite and some old-school hard hitting, particularly from Mount Crushmore and Esha Spades.
Nashville put up vet Four-Leaf Roller against Oklahoma’s T-Pain on the leadoff jam; a solid OKVD front wall gave T-Pain plenty of time for a clean 4-0. A quick 2-2 on the next moved the score to 6-2, although OKVD had to burn a timeout with just 2 minutes gone in the game, apparently due to problems with their jammer covers.
Other than that, though, things continued to go well for OKVD early. A jammer penalty to Four Leaf Roller allowed OKVD jammer Czech 1-2 to run up 20 unanswered points on a highly diminished Nashville pack; on the other side of it, Jammin’ Jane picked up 4 more. After five minutes, OKVD was up 30-2.
OKVD’s strong start didn’t quiet the remarkably loud Nashville fans, who popped big for Nashville’s first lead jammer calls for Union Jack-U-Up — but that frame ended scoreless as she lost her footing away from the pack and had to call it under pressure. The next jam went better for the Nashville faithful, as Nashville jammer Zip Drive had time to work alone following a OKVD jammer penalty to T-Pain. Zip Drive fought through for 10-0 and handed the rest to Four Leaf Roller. Roller was held to 3-0 thanks to an effective hit from OKVD blocker Jenatease, but it moved the score to 30-15 Oklahoma after about 10 minutes.
A low-scoring next five minutes featuring two scoreless jams made it a 10 point game at 36-26 with 15 minutes left in the first half. Nashville escaped a potentially catastrophic jam there, as they were momentarily reduced to just one blocker on the track; fortunately, a oddly timed call-off from OKVD’s T-Pain allowed Nashville to get out of it with only a 9-4 loss, making it 45-30.
On the next, OKVD’s Blood Bjorn Pathogen took lead and was running up a significant lead over Britches N Hose, but attempted an apex jump in turn 4 at the very end of the jam and found herself boxed on a low block. That jam went 19-8 to put OKVD up at 64-38 with 11:31, but it also gave Nashville’s Zip Drive a nearly full minute of power jam on the other side of Pathogen’s penalty.
However, OKVD refused to give up the big jam that Nashville was looking for. A timely hit from OKVD’s Dez Dispense’her leveled Zip Drive and kept the damage to 9-0, making it 64-47 Oklahoma; the teams traded small jam wins following that to make it a twenty-point game at 69-49 with 7 minutes in the first half.
That was the last point where Nashville was really threatening for the victory. Nashville’s scoring went cold for the rest of the half, though, allowing OKVD to pad their lead considerably going into the break. A jammer penalty to Nashville lead jammer Union Jack-U-Up turned what looked like a small jam win for Nashville into a 18-0 shutout jam for OKVD’s Dolly Dynamite. Solid defense across the board, notable from Esha Spades, Jenatease and Mount Crushmore, helped OKVD add 21 more before the half ended, taking them into the break leading 108-49.
The third jam of the half saw Mount Crushmore take Nashville jammer Zip Drive off her skates twice with huge hits while Czech 1-2 had little trouble lapping her. It seemed that OKVD would significantly grow their lead on that one, but Crushmore was boxed on the second hit and then Czech was off to the penalty box herself. Nashville ended up taking that jam 10-7, and Union Jack-U-Up added 10-0 on the other side of the power jam to make it 124-73 OKVD with about 24 minutes to play.
Unfortunately for the Nashville fans, OKVD quickly erased that minor rally with a 25-0 power jam to Blood Bjorn Pathogen while Nashville’s Four Leaf Roller had to watch from the box. On the other side of the penalty, Nashville got a huge break when Jammin’ Jane was up against a 4-2 pack favoring OKVD yet back-blocked her way to the box — but Nashville gave the advantage right back on another penalty to Four Leaf Roller. That complicated sequence ended 10-5 to OKVD, and they were solidly up 159-78 with about 20 minutes left to play in the game.
With about 15 minutes to play, OKVD was up 177-82 and had a major statement jam by shutting down Nashville’s Tear O’Bite; Mount Crushmore, Dez Dispense’her, Molly Menace and Jenatease were all over her to build a clock-killing 14-4 win. When Nashville lead jammer Four Leaf Roller was boxed on a track cut and the Nashville pack was reduced to 2 against Jammin’ Jane, Jane racked a 28-6 and it was pretty much the knockout punch at 219-92 with ten minutes to play.
It’d be another five minutes before Nashville’s fans got something new to cheer about when NRG finally broke the century mark on a 24-0 power jam to Zip Drive; that made it 221-118, but it was far too late to affect the outcome. Other than that jam, there was very little scoring in the final ten minutes; Oklahoma eventually claimed the win 224-120.