D1C: Rat City Rollergirls Preview

D1C: Rat City Rollergirls Preview Rat City's Full Nelson, Kat Haywood and Glitter hold back The Merchant of Menace from Atlanta Rollergirls at Salem Playoffs in September. Photo by Donalee Eiri, Photography by D.E.sign

MILWAUKEE, WI–Trying to plot a trajectory for Rat City’s season is a difficult task–with six wins and five losses this season, predicting the path that would lead them to champs was nigh on impossible.

Rat City started their season with a bang, squeaking out an 11-point win against Angel City. They then played a closed-door bout against Victoria and were surprised by the visiting Aussies, only managing to scrape out a 32-point win. But the real surprise came in June, when in front of a home crowd, the visiting London Rollergirls stole the show, beating Rat City by 76 points, 215-139. Two weeks later, Rat City also lost to Rocky Mountain, this time by 53 points.

By July, Rat was able to pull out a win against Charm City, but once again took a hit at home-ground Key Arena, losing by 173 to Gotham, 271-98. While the Gotham score was no surprise, the following day’s events were. Two sanctioned Division 1 bouts were held at the Rat’s Nest the next day–Gotham vs Denver and Rat vs Denver. After losing to Gotham just hours earlier, Denver also fell to Rat in a close game that saw Rat come out on top, 160-148.

As well as looking at each team as a whole, we’re featuring one skater from each team. For Rat City, we caught up with recent addition Luna Negra, who won MVP at Salem playoffs in September.

You’re a pretty new addition to the Rat A-team – what was it like to come away from the tournament going to Champs and as MVP?
I haven’t thought about what is like to be MVP. I was pretty shocked to get an award! It was super nice. Honestly, I was so happy that we as a team accomplished part of our goal to get to Championships. We needed to start to train and prepare for Championships, so I have tucked away the award in my head until after the tournament. Once we reach our final goal, then I will get to celebrate being MVP. Now we get to go to Championships and play our game. I just want to do well there.
Sometimes, especially in the All Star Program, we train for years to reach a single goal. I trained for YEARS to make the All Star Program, and to get a chance to play at playoffs and I have dreamed of playing at Championships. This is very real and extremely important to me, my team and my family.

You’re coming up against Ohio first at champs. How are you preparing for the match up? How much does your team study the teams you are going to play at a tournament?
We are preparing for Ohio by watching footage, tightening up our game, and refocusing to be ready. We are making sure that we come in healthy and ready and focused.

Provided you win your first game, you’ll be up against Gotham. How is Rat preparing to play the best team in the world again after your recent loss at Key Arena?
We are a different team now. We are coming together, playing our game and focusing on what we need to do to be the best team that we can be at each step of the way.

Who on your roster has had a great season so far that deserves a shout-out on DNN?
All of us have stepped up for this challenge. Our defense has really stepped up. The blocking of Yoko Onoud’int (Ono) and Jerrica Kallio has been amazing. Full Nelson, Glitter, and Kat Haywood are also strong blockers and are ones to watch.

After their last regular season game saw Rose take Rat 263-140, Rat headed to Salem playoffs, where they took on Boston, Atlanta and Detroit. After coming in as #3 seed, Rat started off the weekend with an inexplicably close game against #6 seed Boston, winning by just seven points. In the semi finals, they lost to Atlanta 220-186, but were able to come back in the third-place game with a convincing 254-129 win against Detroit.

This year is the first time since 2008 that Rat City will appear at Championships. Whether their absence is a testament to the strength of the former Western region or Rat City’s performance when it comes to the crunch remains to be seen. What we do know is that Rat will need to give it their all against unknown quantity Ohio to make it through to quarterfinals. Some might say that Rat has the easiest run of all to make it to the next round, but given what Ohio has pulled out of the bag to get to Champs, this green-team match-up is going to be one of the top games on day one of the tournament.

Jammers to look out for this tournament are Sintripedal Force and Jukestapose, who both had impressive showings at Salem. While other jammers had mixed results across the three games played, both of these skaters maintained high points-for/points-against averages and played consistently well throughout each game.

As for the blockers, look out for Rumble Fist and Full Nelson, who have had an amazing season working together in the pack. Adding Sami Automatic or Kat Haywood to the mix produced consistently strong points averages at Salem; jammers were generally able to eke out four or more points whenever this combination took to the track. Another impressive grouping at Salem involved Shorty Ounce and Yoko Onoudi’nt, with the interesting addition of jamming veteran Carmen Getsome.

If Rat can stymie Ohio’s efforts to get through the first round, they will make it through the first day of play, but will meet a fresh-and-ready Gotham in the quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon.

Rat City Rollergirls All Stars

12 Carmen Getsome // 123 Full Nelson // 14 Shorty Ounce // 1618 Sintripetal Force // 17 Muffstache // 187 K. Beezy // 20 Yoko Onoudi’nt // 22 Jalapeno Business // 247 Hard Cora // 319 Glitter // 321 Missile America // 33 Jerrica Kallio // 34 Method of Madness // 357 Sami Automatic // 4 Belle Tolls // 49 Teeny Mussolini // 5280 Jukestapose // 69 Killah Kelly // 9 Rumble Fist // 911 Luna Negra