DES MOINES, IA–In April the newly formed Team United Roller Derby took on No Coast in Des Moines and lost 136-153. In June they had a rematch in Lincoln, and lost again,123-177. Their Facebook stated in early September they had a closed scrimmage with Kansas City and beat them 201-93, making the point just before playoffs that they were going to be a team to watch in 2014. It’s evident they can hold their own with the likes of high-ranked WFTDA teams, and taking on a big gun like Minnesota was an effort to show this off as they look to progress towards full WFTDA membership in the near future. And make a bold statement they did–they posted a 142-139 win over the Minnesota RollerGirls’ All-Stars at Des Moines’ Skate West.
Team United entered the WFTDA apprentice program at the end of October this year, but they are far from being new on the track. A good number of their skaters are formally of the Mid Iowa Rollers, a playoff bubble team in 2012 and one of those in playoff placings in 2013 who didn’t make the trip to a tournament as they were no longer active. Team United Roller Derby came into being at the start of the 2013 season, and with them they took coach Mark Muse, who also coaches the MRDA world champions, Your Mom Men’s Roller Derby.
The Minnesota RollerGirls All-Stars haven’t really seen track time since playoffs at the end of September and have been focusing more on their home team season. They brought a majority of their All-Stars to Des Moines–while Medusa was coaching and neither Slambda Phage nor Fannie Tanner skated, they did welcome Crowella De Vil back into the fold after her recovery from the nine-month injury that cut her season short shortly after she made her MNRG debut after transferring from Charm City. They were also without Juke Boxx, who announced in November that she was moving to London.
The bout started with SiNister SuNami grabbing the first four points for Team United followed by four for Minnesota by Crowella De Vil. Powerhouse jammer and Team USA skater, Second Hand Smoke, followed up with another four on a wide open inside line. The tight defense on both sides was already evidence of a good match up.
MNRG got an opportunity to bust open their lead when SuNami got a track cut as she almost got out of the pack. Harmony Killerbruise got lead and battled hard against Mz Lolli Pop Ya and Princess Slay-Ya. Lolli played most of the bout facing backwards and had many killer hits that way, but Harmony’s deft sideways skating got her around for four grand slams before the jam ended.
Crowella continued MNRG’s power jam run as they played active offense, goating Slay-Ya. Lolli came back from the box as reinforcement and kept Crowella to only a couple passes until SuNami returned from the box.
The next jam started with both jammers getting recycled behind the pack, but L’exi Cuter was able to get out as Miss ConGEEniality struggled against MNRG’s strong wall. L’exi added one more point to their lead, and MNRG led 39-4 with 21 minutes left in the first half.
Vyolent GriMm finally got the second lead status for Team United, and brought their momentum back with four points. They get lead for the next few jams but were forced to call it off as MNRG jammers get out right behind them. Smoke also blocked in the pack and worked over Miss ConGEEnality recycling her to the back. Lolli tried to do the same to L’exi but got knocked down as she went back. Miss GEE finally got out with L’exi hot on her tail. MNRG tried to speed it up but she still nabbed three before she called it off.
A long time out ensued, as there was some discussion over the Minnesota helmet panties and whether they were high contrast enough. Eventually the offending covers were switched out for some slightly darker blue ones.
Team United worked hard on the MNRG jammers and held them to one point as they went on a 19-point run. Then as Crowella got stuck behind Lolli, Slay-Ya and Shea Butter, SuaNami came around for her scoring pass. Crowella tried to block her out, but ended up with a direction of play penalty, handing Team United a power jam. Three grand slams put them within one point, 39-40.
The Minnesota Aquaman Army was of course in attendance, complete with a cheer booklet, but Your Mom’s Twinkle Toes started to amp up the Team United crowd as they pushed into the lead.
Harmony got the first lead and four points for MNRG after eight jams. She passed the first point at the back, but sped up to get the last three blockers at the front, and as she spun around the wall to call it, GriMm snuck in three points.
Secondhand Smoke got lead in the following jam but as she tried to bust up the wall of black, she placed a hard hit on Lolli’s back and ended up in the penalty box. SuNami got caught up by Diamond Rough and Shiver Me Kimbers, but penalties started to wear on MNRG and the jam ended with 27 points for Team United, and nearly a 30 point lead.
MNRG started to intensify their defense and Diamond Rough and Madrad held up GriMm allowing Harmony to get four points. Then Buzz Tight Rear and Naughty Kitty laid big hits on Miss GEE as Smoke got four more, making it 75-56 with under three minutes on the clock. Minnesota carried on their momentum to the end of the half with a power jam, and Harmony spun her way around the Team United blockers to put MNRG back in the lead by halftime, 75-89.
Minnesota started off the second half strong with 2 points by Second Hand Smoke followed by a 14 point power jam by L’exi and Team United started to struggle with penalties. Their wall became so slow against L’exi that Lolli received a stopped block and on her next pass, she laid a big hit on a backwards Snot Face, who fell down and low blocked her. Their 27-point run came to an end and so did their momentum as Team United picked it back up.
Harmony Killerbruise was on a power jam but kept battling against Lolli, getting recycled back and holding her face, until she finally got forced out on a cut. Miss GEE got back on the track in the meantime, and as a small jammer, struggled a bit against the strong blocking of MNRG and Scarmen Hellectra’s butt. The pack started to get heated as Minnesota called for a track cut on Miss GEE, and some big hits were given back and forth amongst blockers. Minnesota took a time out with 17 minutes on the clock and still in the lead 96-117.
When the action resumed, Shea Butter took the star for the first time this bout after a strong performance jamming in the undercard bout. MNRG had only one blocker on the track at one point, and Shea got a quick grand slam before she called it. Team United kept working up the score until they brought it to at tie at 127, with seven minutes left.
Defense amped up on both sides and Shea continued to jam for Team United. She got stuck behind Naughty Kitty and a solid aqua-and-army wall, but Smoke got recycled back allowing Shea to escape for one point. Miss GEE got lead in the next jam as the pack started to speed up. She got some points and tried to call it off, but some confusion amongst the refs led to some of the pack continuing. A long official timeout was called to figure it out with 4 minutes left and Team United leading 132-127.
SuNami played as a double threat for Team United, and recycled Harmony back, but she busted out as Shea struggled in the pack. Harmony got four and called it, bringing it to a one point game.
Smoke plowed through a backwards Team United blocker for lead as Miss GEE got hung up in the pack this time, behind Naughty Kitty, Shiva Shankin and Buzz Tight Rear. She got a couple passes in and then pulled back from the pack to waste the clock.
Shiver Me Kimbers took the star for the first time against Shea in the last jam, but an unfortunate track cut put her in the box. Shea got laid out by Crust Almighty, but got around for two grand slams as the period clock ran out. The crowd was screaming as she slowed down and called it off before Kimbers could get back to the pack, giving Team United a three point win, 142-139.
BAMF #26 // Cripplin Calamity #182 // Deja Deadwards #14 // Miss ConGEEniality #16 // Mz Lolli Pop Ya #2 // SiNister SuNami #57 // Snot Face #422 // Skilla #9mm // Shea Butter #52 // Touche Bouchier #H20 // Vyolent GriMm #1134 // Wonton Hammer #6 // Slay Ya #7
Buzz Tight Rear 1016 // Crowella De Vil #101 // Crust All Mighty #40 // Diamond Rough #1837 // Harmony Killerbruise #75 // Hurtrude Stein #747 // L’exi Cuter #187 // MadRad #196 // Naughty Kitty #00 // Scarmen Hellectra ##28 // Second Hand Smoke #9 // Shiva Shankin #172 // Shiver Me Kimbers #667