It was a bittersweet day for derby at the Eastern Regionals Saturday, as the #1 ranked Dairyland Dolls from Madison fell to the #7 ranked Windy City Rollers of Chicago at the Heartland Havoc tournament in Columbus. Despite a tough fight from our ladies in blue, it just wasn't enough to tackle the Rollers, who came in as rabid underdogs after their Friday win. As murmurs predicting an easy win for the DDs trickled through the crowd, Chicago came ready to win again.
Dairyland started off strong, shutting out Chicago 12-0 in three jams with solid performances by Darling Nikky, Jenny Knoxville, and Dolly Pardon Me. Mouse stepped to the line and, after struggling to get through the pack, passed the star to pivot Chop Suzzy (a rare and difficult feat), who brought the score to 31-15. But despite the solid start, the Dolls' defense began to falter halfway through the period and Windy City remained resilient, slowly chalking up the points each jam. At the end of period, the Dolls lead by only one point, 32-31.
In the second period, Windy City dominated our girls, allowing the Dolls only 7 points the entire twenty minutes. Chicago's defense was nothing short of phenomenal, and the Dolls' jammers just couldn't break through. Windy City claimed lead jammer nearly every time; they racked up points and wowed the crowd, and as the period clock ran out, the Rollers held an impressive 63-39 lead.
In the first jam of the final period, Chicago fave Varla Vendetta scored a five-point grand slam. In response, Jewels of Denile came to the line and scored her own grand slam, while Princess Die sent Chicago's Yvette Yourmaker flying with a crowd-pleasing jammer take-down. The DD's high-scorer Jenny Knoxville nabbed lead jammer and brought the score to 71-48. The fouls began to fly, as jammers and blockers flew in and out of the box faster than home announcers Baam Baam and Bob Noxious could call out their names. Though the Dolls put forth some stellar plays, it just wasn't enough to tame the wind. As the final seconds flashed away, the stunned Dairyland Dolls players and fans found themselves left in Chicago's dust; the final score read 94-63.
Ecstatic Windy City fans rushed the track and erupted in celebration, as teary-eyed Dolls congratulated them with hugs. A bittersweet defeat it was indeed: The Windy City Rollers have not only climbed their way up to amazing levels of competition over a year, but they've come to almost every home game in Madison, taking notes and using the Mad Rollin' Dolls as a model, gaining not only insight but friendships as well.
"I wanted to scream and cry," Jammer Dolly Pardon Me said, her voice quavering. "But some of those tears were tears of joy for Chicago. They really trained for this. We both wanted it, but they just wanted it more. If we had to lose to someone, I'm glad it was them."
Be sure to head to Fast Forward Skate Center on Saturday, October 20 for the Dairyland Dolls' last game of the interleague season against the Rocky Mountain Roller Girls of Colorado.