D1S: #3 Denver Rolls Over #6 Santa Cruz

SACRAMENTO, CA–The game between Denver and Santa Cruz went about as expected: Denver played their demoralizing defense and worked toward a solid win over the #25 ranked Boardwalk Bombshells. After Santa Cruz placed 2nd in Division 2 last year, the team started this year by playing up into D1 for a number of games–winning over Wasatch in March and losing by just 38 points to Rat City in June. Their tenacity definitely showed during this game, but their 260-48 loss to Denver showed that the top 40 has a wide range.

Not only did Denver show that their defense still holds strong without Serelson and Rivas (who recently moved to WFTDA #4 Rose City), but they showcased a deep jammer bench; a total of six skaters donned the star. Martin led them with 76 points, followed by Wilhelm with 57 and Dezellem with 53 points. They were the first three to get points on the board with a combined 11, but Santa Cruz made them fight for every point. An impressive blocking duo in Shamrock N. Roller and Foxee Firestorm worked over Dezellem until they forced her into a track cut. That helped Santa Cruz get their first points with a grand slam.

Luna, a recent Junior Derby graduate, put another five points up in the next jam to make it a one point game after eight minutes of play. That’s as close as the game got, as Denver started to score exponentially, and got to 78-19 with about 10 minutes left in the half before Santa Cruz took a timeout. Santa Cruz attempted to put a cap on Denver’s scoring with star passes, but Denver was quick to contain their pivot. Santa Cruz played a dynamic game by offering offense for their jammers, but the Denver defense machine was quick to recycle.

Denver got over the century mark just before the half ended, and held a Santa Cruz to just 24 points. The second half opened with a power jam for Denver and the Bombshells proved their defense had the right stuff by holding Wilhelm to just two scoring passes. Over the next five jams they continued solid pack play and only allowed two more points to the Mile High Club. With the help of a power jam, Santa Cruz added 14 points to their total.

Denver picked their momentum back up and the second half continued about the same way. Santa Cruz never gave up and didn’t make it an easy win for Denver, despite the point spread. Martin added a big 35 points towards the end while Queen Litigious sat in the penalty box, and was held for the rest of the two-minute jam. The game stayed pretty competitive since both teams had low penalty totals; Santa Cruz had 22 to Denver’s 15. Denver’s 260-48 win means they will be in the quarter-final game tomorrow at 8pm PDT. Santa Cruz will drop into the consolation bracket against New Hampshire at noon PDT.