SACRAMENTO, CA – In the match-up for 7th and 8th place, #6 seed Santa Cruz (WFTDA #25) came up against #8 Kansas City (WFTDA #33). Kansas City had come off a big loss to #5 seed Terminal City the previous day, just as Santa Cruz had come away from a big loss to Tampa. With Kansas City looking to better their seeding and Santa Cruz looking to not slip any further than one placing, both teams were out for a win in their final game of the weekend.
Right out of the starting blocks, Santa Cruz’s Ace Wenchura grabbed lead while Kansas City’s Peter Baberiel was stuck behind a strong wall of Corazone, Foxee Firestorm and Ginger Brute. With Baberiel stuck in the pack for over a minute, Wenchura was able to pick up 10 points as first blood for Santa Cruz. Kansas City’s Enigma grabbed her team’s first solitary point in the next jam.
It’s clear that both teams’ defense has improved and developed even since the start of the weekend – the first quarter of the game was characterized by slow, braced walls that looked more and more like the tournament’s top teams as the game pressed on. By the second quarter, the speed of the game increased, with both teams favoring the front. As the final game for both of these teams, fatigue began to set in and jammers required more offense, leading to a faster game.
Enigma continued to be the star KC jammer of the day, killing walls and gaining lead in seconds. With 10 minutes to go, she blitzed her way to four quick points and brought the score to 60-36 in favor of Santa Cruz. KC’s bench rewarded her by jamming her two jams later, but a strong wall of Santa Cruz blockers held her to her initial pass enough to gain five points.
Santa Cruz’s TARAism was boxed with 6 mins to go, leaving Dr Dread and KC on a well needed powerjam. Just as soon as Tara returned to the track, she received a back block and was sent back to the box. But it was not to be – a penalty from Enigma in the next jam meant Santa Cruz could hold onto a 74-55 lead.
By the half, the score sat at 94-55 in favor of Santa Cruz.
After half time, Enigma was back to her old tricks, grabbing two quick points in the first jam. This helped KC onto a run of lead jammers until Peter Babriel was boxed on a low block. Both teams continued to exchange points for the rest of the third quarter, and by the 17 minute mark, the score sat at 134-82.
Aged-up junior and now Santa Cruz jammer Luna has proved herself in the adult bracket throughout this tournament, but her fierce style of wall breaking and wiggling through gaps came out strong in this game. Santa Cruz’s jammers were on form for the majority of this game, with Luna’s star-donning buddies Ace Wenchura and TARAism also holding it down for the crowd favorite as they pushed the score further and further out of KC’s reach.
With 10 minutes left to play, KC made a run for it, with Enigma and Dr Dread pumping up the score to 139-100. Mary Lou Wretched joined the winners fold as SC passed the star to Envy Adams, bringing the score to 141-108. Despite their ability to pull it back, Kansas City were unable to hold onto their momentum and Santa Cruz pushed them to the final whistle, coming away with a 171-122 win. Santa Cruz comes away in 7th place, while Kansas City leaves in 8th.