ASHEVILLE, NC — Saturday’s final consolation-round match found 7 seed Houston and 8 seed Nashville battling for the right to face Steel City in Sunday’s 5th place game. The game seemed like it might be a close one through much of the first half, but Houston completely dominated the second half 122-17 to take a 221-63 win.
Houston did not commit a single jammer penalty in the game, greatly contributing to their control of the 8 seed. Nashville will face off agains the Oklahoma Victory Dolls for 7th place.
The game was essentially a stalemate for the first ten minutes; the teams traded the lead three times in the first five jams. Though Houston led at the very beginning following back to back 1-0 jams, Nashville narrowly took it back and was up 14-10 with about eight minutes gone in the game.
Nashville’s Zip Drive committed the first jammer penalty of the game at that point, though, opening the track for Houston. They made the most of it, picking up 10-0, 5-0 and 13-0 on the back of that penalty, and were up 38-14 with 17 minutes in the half.
However, Nashville’s defense stepped up to key a short Nashville rally. After a 4-0, Electra Cal, Tear O Bite and Stella Live battered Houston jammer Syrenge to create a natural 14-0 to Four Leaf Roller. That jam got the Nashville fans back into the game at a score of 38-32 with about 13 minutes on the half, but Houston’s Death by Chocolate answered most of those points with a natural 13-0. That put the score at 51-32 on a stopped clock at 11:33.
Following a 4-0 to Houston, Nashville lost jammer Zip Drive again on an after-the-whistle hit; that gave Houston’s Freight Train a full minute to work unopposed with a 4-2 Houston pack supporting her. She picked up 15 and froze Zip Drive in the box, DBC took the remainder of the power jam to score 9 more. With about 8 minutes to play in the half, Houston had built a 79-32 advantage.
Nashville called their first timeout at about the 5 minute mark with the score 89-35 favoring Houston, but neither team could get a significant advantage in the half’s remaining time. Going into the final minute, Houston led 95-42; Nashville’s Four Leaf Roller tried to kill some penalty time after scoring 4, but waited too long, allowing Brandi Brown to equalize at the whistle. At halftime, it was 99-46 Houston.
Houston was able to significantly extend that lead early in the second half on a 24-0 power jam to Death By Chocolate. As the clock crept towards the 20 minute mark, Houston threatened to put the lead in triple digits — and they got there right at the same time, as a Freight Train 9-0 pushed the score to 154-51 with just under 20 minutes showing on the clock.
Nashville would see key blocker Britches and Hose foul out at about the 11 minute mark going into a Houston power jam that moved the score to 199-51; the increasingly impressive Freight Train put them over the double-century mark with a 5-0 there.
With the score 204-51 and under 9 minutes to go, the only question was whether Nashville would ever get back on the board. NRG’s Ann T. Histamine finally took 4-0 with about 6 minutes to play, but after calling it off she took a bit of frustration out on opposing jammer Death By Chocolate by hitting her after the whistle. That led to a official review of an illegal procedure call; Nashville won the review to get Histamine out of the box.
However, that was pretty much the biggest victory the Nashville fans got to celebrate in the second half; five minutes later, the game closed with Houston winning big, 221-63.