Despite the lingering hold of winter on Columbus, Ohio Roller Derby extends a warm welcome to West Virginia Roller Derby (Beckley, WV) and South Bend Roller Girls (South Bend, IN) as they return to the Ohio Expo Center on Saturday, April 21.
West Virginia, a state of smaller and in many cases more geographically isolated roller derby teams, made the bold decision to combine efforts across leagues with the hope of climbing the WFTDA rankings into Division 1. In a July 2017 statement, Beckley Area Derby Dames announced that the newly-formed West Virginia Roller Derby would take over their spot in WFTDA rankings, pooling the top talent in the state. Making a statement in their first game under the new name and charter, the West Virginia All Stars traveled to Tennessee in August and flattened the Nashville Rollergirls, 251-83.
The inaugural battle with Ohio is the fourth of West Virginia’s five scheduled games for 2018. Currently 0-3, the WV All Stars suffered road losses at Mother State (Richmond, VA) in February and at Cincinnati Rollergirls (Cincinnati, OH) earlier in April. Their sole home game in March also ended in defeat to dark horse Gem City Roller Derby (Dayton, OH). West Virginia will hit the road once more to take on DC Rollergirls (Washington, D.C.) in May.
With less than a four hour drive separating them, potential exists for a new competitive relationship and interstate rivalry between Ohio and West Virginia. Both are largely veteran squads, and while West Virginia seems to still be adjusting to higher level play, they’re consistently chipping away at the score differential in their losses, showing a determination and tenacity on par with Ohio.
Ohio will have the opportunity to play against former teammate Kruel-Aid, who transferred to West Virginia earlier this year, but regains triple threats Lora “Outa My” Wayman and Val Holla as they return to competitive play and add versatile depth to the bench.
Doors open to the public at 4 p.m.; the Ohio Roller Derby All Stars will take on the West Virginia Roller Derby All Stars at 5 p.m., followed by Ohio Roller Derby Gang Green versus the South Bend Roller Girls around 7 p.m. These first-time games will be exciting from the first whistle to the last – don’t miss a second of the action! Pre-sale tickets and group sales are available online at ohiorollerderby.com/tickets through Friday, April 20th. We’ll see you in the bleachers!