On Saturday, January 19th, Madison Roller Derby rolled out for their 15th season at the Alliant Energy Coliseum. The season would begin with a rematch of the 3rd place and Championship games from the previous season.
Vaudeville Vixens 237, Reservoir Dolls 233 - View Replay Here
Up first was an exciting game featuring the Vaudeville Vixens taking on the Reservoir Dolls. The Vixens were out to an early 14-point lead after the Vixens’ rookie jammer, Hawai’i KO grabbed lead jammer status and 12 points in the second jam of the game. The Reservoir Dolls answered right back the very next jam with lead jammer and 12 points from Nat Splat. The Res Dolls would go on to grab lead in the next 9 jams! In the midst of this, the Vixens did their best to take advantage of Res Dolls’ penalties including an 18-point jam from Hawai’i KO who used her size and footwork to take advantage of the small gaps in the Res Dolls’ defense. She would go on to finish the half with 50 points.
The Reservoir Dolls continued to dominate off the jam line – snagging lead jammer 74% of the time. All four Res Dolls’ jammers ended the half with double-digit points while strong blocking helped minimize the number of high scoring jams from the Vixens. At the half, the Reservoir Dolls had a commanding 136-81 lead. The Vixens may have been down, but they were far from being out.
To start the second half, the Vixens sent veteran jammer Dalek Doll to the line against the Reservoir Dolls’ Siouxpernova. Both jammers would come away with 16 points in what ended up being a full 2-minute jam. The Res Dolls continued on to get lead in 58% of the jams that half. A particular bright spot for the Reservoir Dolls was rookie T-Wrecks who grabbed lead in 4 of 5 jams in the half and 39 points in her debut.
The Vixens never backed down. Their jammers kept slashing away at the Res Dolls’ lead. Vixens’ jammer LaMarche Madness posted 20 points twice in the half while Dalek Doll put up 19 of her own in another jam. Defensively, the Vixens blockers shut down the Res Dolls’ scoring holding them scoreless in 7 of 19 jams. After 16 jams in the half, the Vixens had come all the way back to tie the game. The Reservoir Dolls pulled back into the lead and had an 8-point advantage entering the final Jam. Reservoir Dolls’ leading point scorer Nat Splat would face off against LaMarche Madness at the jam line. Coming into turn one, good awareness by the Vixens’ blockers drew a track cut on Nat Splat paving the way for LaMarche Madness to grab lead and round the track 3 more times and for the Vaudeville Vixens’ 237-233 victory.
Unholy Rollers 301, Bad Squad (Quad Squad) 185 - View Replay Here
In the second game of the night, the reigning champion Quad Squad (having reformed from their lives as villains) faced off against the Unholy Rollers. The Unholies started the bout in dominant fashion as Gingah Snap put 28 points on the board to 11 for Quad Squad. Three jams later, Gertrude Awakening would put another 15 points on the board for the Unholy Rollers. Just like that after only four jams, the Unholy rollers were on top 47 – 19 and they wouldn’t look back.
Defensively, the relentless blockers for the Unholy Rollers kept the Quad Squad scoring to a minimum. Quad Squad jammers also found themselves getting into foul trouble as well sending jammers to the box on 6 occasions. Quad Squad’s blockers also struggled to stay out of the penalty box in the first half as well, making the already strong Unholy jammers even harder to stop. The Quad Squad racked up 22 penalties compared to just 5 for the Unholy Rollers. At the half, Gingah Snap led all jammers with 73 of the Unholies 178 points while on the other side, Kenna Vendetta had 34 of her squad’s 74 points. If the Quad Squad were going to play the role of comeback kids, they were going to need to find a way to stay out of the box and stop the Unholy Rollers’ jammers.
In the second half, the Quad Squad jammers started to take control of the jam line. Kenna Vendetta grabbed lead in 5 of 8 jams. And overall, the Quad Squad jammers improved their lead percentage to 54%. Defensively, Quad squad started to find their groove as well – shutting out the Unholies in 5 straight jams.
But while the Quad squad started to grab lead more often, the Unholies continued putting up high scoring jams. The Unholy Rollers’ jammers Gingah Snap and Tango de Muerte combined for 90 points in the second half. The second half was much closer than the first but ultimately it just wasn’t to be for the reigning champs as they fell to the Unholy Rollers, 185-301.