KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON–In the semi-finals of the Kitchener-Waterloo games, The 3 seed Rideau Valley Roller Girls Vixens took on the 7 seed Gold Coast Derby Grrls. Both teams had strong games to that point in the tournament, and this game looked as though it was going to be a very close match up.
While both teams certainly played fiercely, Gold Coast wasn’t able to match Rideau’s strong defense and unwavering offense and Rideau took a convincing win 224-139 to reaffirm their tournament favorite status.
Going into the first half, both teams showed really tight defensive walls. Both were focused nearly solely on defense, with several jams going longer than normal without a jammer emerging from the pack. Rideau generally had stronger blocking than Gold Coast, however, and frequently got lead jammer. With 22:00 left in the half, Rideau had established a 37 to 13 lead. Gold Coast put up a fight and came close a few times, but was not able to overturn the score at any point throughout the rest of the game.
Game play in the first half was generally slow, which spoke volumes to each team’s strong defensive game. For the Vixens, jammers Soul Rekker (a founding RVRG skater), AustinTatious, and Shania Pain had excellent games as well, coupling with strong defense. Soul Rekker finished with 118 of the total 224 points scored. Gold Coast’s key jammers, Bitchin’ N Rollin and Souljourner gave the Vixens a run for their money.
With 5 minutes remaining in the half, Gold Coast had closed the gap quite a bit, the score sitting at 96 to 84. A power jam in Gold Coast’s favor had helped them to gain some points. With 3:45 left, the score was 96 to 94 and Gold Coast looked to have really gotten their legs back. Rideau quickly reestablished dominance, however, the score at the half 120 to 98 in Rideau’s favor.
Coming into the second half, Rideau came out looking as strong as they did at the beginning of the first half. They quickly got into penalty trouble, which allowed Gold Coast to hold them from scoring as many points as they would have liked. At a few points in the game, both teams used “old school” derby defense, skating very fast as a pack in order to prevent the other team’s jammer from scoring on a lead jammer pass. Whether fast or gritty defense, there was high-level execution happening from both Gold Coast and Rideau.
With 19 minutes left, the score sat at 151 to 121. In spite of great game play on both sides, Rideau continued to dominate Gold Coast. With 11:45 left, the score was 177-130 in Rideau’s favor. The remainder of the game continued as such, and Rideau will be playing Bear City later today, and heading to Nashville in October.