Friday, October 8, 2010

Bring on the pain

After a weekend of surprising upsets at Rollin' on the River 2010, the best in the west are heading to Chicago. 

Rocky Mountain ended Oly's 22-bout win streak to snatch the No. 1 seed going into the Women's Flat Track Derby Association's Championship Tournament on November 5-7. Oly was unable to ride its 287 point differential from its first two games to a first place finish, upset in the last game 127-86, despite several lead changes. 

Bay Area Derby overcame it's 6th seed in the Western Region, upsetting Denver in the first round 132-128. BAD lost to eventual champion Rocky in the second round, but then took third place in the tournament with a win over Rose City.

Now the action turns to the Midwest once again as the regional tournament stops in the land of Nebraska for the final WFTDA regional tournament. 

The No Coast Roller Girls will host Amber Waves of Pain, the South Central Region Tournament on October 8-10 in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Tournament staples Texas and Kansas City look to maintain their roller derby dominance, and take two of the top spots into Uproar on the Lakeshore in Chicago. 

Thus far the No. 1 seed has made it into the the top three of each region, thus securing a bid in the championship tournament. Gotham and Windy City maintained their lock on the No. 1 seed, and secure a first-round bye in Chicago. Rocky and it's upset of Oly will get the bye after taking first place in the West.

Three more spots in the championship tournament remain open as the Top 10 teams in the South Central Region vie for a spot in the (inter)national spotlight.

Both Kansas City and Texas have won the WFTDA national championship previously, before the inception of the Hydra Trophy. Texas became the first WFTDA champion ever in 2006, while Kansas City won a year later in 2007. 

Texas advanced to the final game in the 2009 WFTDA national tournament at Declaration of Derby in Philadelphia, losing to Oly Rollers 179-100 in the championship game, and thus earning second place in the tournament.

South Central No. 1 seed Texas looks like a shoe-in.

"All in all, Texas has always been a derby powerhouse!" says Christine "Sylvia Bullet" Newell, No Coast blocker. "I think their chances are pretty good, but I wouldn’t put them past an upset."

Bay Area Derby, originally ranked sixth in the Western Region, and Minnesota, originally ranked seventh in the North Central Region, both managed key upsets to place into the championship tournament. 

Underdogs No Coast are keeping their focus positive on their chances in the South Central Region.

"Minnesota’s Cinderella story reminds us that it’s possible for No Coast to break into the top three and make it to Chicago in November," Newell says. "To make it to Chicago we’re going to have to play smart, play clean, and stay focused."

No Coast will have to beat Hard Knox, No. 9 seed in the first round of the South Central, to get a chance to play Texas, No. 10 in the nation according to Derby News Network's September 2010 power rankings.

"We aren't looking past Hard Knox, but we are planning on playing Texas and are looking forward to it," Newell says. 

Atlanta Rollergirls will face the winner of the first round matchup between Houston and Memphis. Other Amber Waves of Pain participants include Dallas Derby Devils, Nashville Roller Girls, and Tampa Bay Derby Darlins.. 

South Central Rankings
SC01 Texas Rollergirls (DNN 10)
SC02 Atlanta Rollergirls (DNN 20)
SC03 Kansas City Roller Warriors (DNN 18)
SC04 Dallas Derby Devils (DNN 25)
SC05 Nashville Roller Girls 
SC06 Tampa Bay Derby Darlins (DNN 24)
SC07 Houston Roller Derby
SC08 No Coast Roller Girls
SC09 Hard Knox Roller Girls
SC10 Memphis Roller Derby

Top 3 finishes per region
Here are the top three finishes for each region. The number one seed for each region gets a bye in the first round of the championship tournament. The No. 2 seed from each region will play a No. 3 seed from a different region. Teams seeded No. 2 or No. 3 will have to play three games if they want to make it to championship finals and a loss in the first round will knock them out completely. Second round losers will still get an opportunity to play for third place.

South Central region, Oct. 8-10, 2010
1. To be determined
2. To be determined
3. To be determined

Western region, Sept. 29-31, 2010
1. Rocky Mountain (W2, DNN3)
2. Oly (W1, DNN2)
3. B.A.D. (W6, DNN8)

Eastern region, Sept. 22-24, 2010
1. Gotham (E1, DNN1)
2. Philly (E2, DNN4)
3. Charm City (Baltimore) (E4, DNN9)

North Central, Sept. 10-12,  2010
1. Windy City (Chicago) (NC1, DNN11)
2. Minnesota (NC7)
3. Dairyland Dolls (Madison) (NC3, DNN14)