In their sixth trip to Milwaukee in as many years, the Ohio Roller Girls had their work cut out for them as they rolled into the annual invitational hosted by the Brewcity Bruisers. With a smaller roster and more challenging schedule than many other teams competing at BrewHaHa, Ohio knew that the weekend would not be an easy one. Update WFTDA rankings released at the end of May dropped Ohio to 29, while Arch Rival climbed four spots to 14, Minnesota moved down a slot to 7, and Tampa held steady at 23. Despite these factors, Ohio fought fiercely, and refused to send their opponents home with easy wins.
(29) OHIO FALLS TO (14) ARCH RIVAL, 367-41
For their first game of the weekend in Milwaukee, Ohio took on Arch Rival Roller Girls on Friday afternoon in what promised to be a challenging game. Arch kept Ohio off the board for the first two jams, before The Smacktivist put up four points in jam three. A strict four jammer rotation of Brickyard, Bricktator, Swanson, and Harmony Killerbruise obtained lead status for the squad from St. Louis in all but one jam in the first half, holding Ohio in the single digits until jam nine. A double jammer penalty on Ohio allowed Arch to cross the century mark just over halfway through the first period. Ohio continued to fight to put points on the board, until a penalty called on Bricktator gave Kitty Liquorbottom & Lora “Outa My” Wayman a chance to complete a star pass and snag 13 points, bringing the score to 151-29. Arch answered with another 46 points for a halftime score of 197-29.
The second period started with Arch on back-to-back power jams, but Wayman grabbed lead jammer status in jam six, preventing any points from being scored and seemingly slowing Arch’s momentum. The Smacktivist followed up with a lead of their own several minutes later, sneaking in another 4 points and bringing the score to 264-33. Ohio blockers Ena Flash, Jesse “Ava Tarr” Fox, Paige Bleed, and Texas Chainsaw Sasskicker kept Killerbruise contained while The Smacktivist grabbed lead again to put up 7 more points. Arch blockers allowed only one more point by Ohio, for a final score of 367-41.
(7) MINNESOTA DEFEATS (29) OHIO, 284-80
After Friday’s loss to Arch, Ohio regrouped and prepared to face Minnesota for the first time since the 2013 BrewHaHa invitational. The team from St. Paul came out strong in the first few jams, quickly opening a 17-0 gap. Hot on Fannie Tanner’s heels, Texas Chainsaw Sasskicker prevented Minnesota from scoring in jam four, giving Ohio a chance to settle in. A penalty on Minnesota jammer Jacked Pipes near the end of jam six allowed Wayman to put the first 4 points on the board for Ohio, and gave The Smacktivist a power start the following jam. Ohio jammers continued to eke out points regardless of lead jammer status, while blockers slowed Minnesota’s point gain to a crawl for several jams. In a full two-minute jam, Chainsaw snagged 10 points, closing the point gap to 69-25. Consecutive power jams put Minnesota on the verge of triple digits, and a handful of two-minute jams ended the first period with Ohio down, 120-58.
A power jam start for Minnesota to begin the second half seemed promising, but double penalties on Shiver Me Kimbers created an opportunity for a successful star pass between Val Holla & Wayman and another 10 points for Ohio. The Smacktivist followed up on a power jam with 5 more points, while Ena Flash, KloverKill, Chainsaw, and Bigg Rigg held up Minnesota’s jammer on her return from the penalty box. Two more power jams with Minnesota’s Hurtrude Stein in the box put the score at 165-76. Ohio fought to accrue points, but Minnesota tightened up their defense and held the squad from Columbus scoreless for the next nine jams. Ohio answered with smart jamming & stronger defense of their own, making it difficult for Minnesota to score as long as they had a full contingent of skaters on the track. Ohio was able to break their scoreless streak with a leadless jam that put Minnesota jammer Second Hand Smoke in the box & provided a subsequent power jam for The Smacktivist. The final jam of the game saw KloverKill taking the jammer star for Ohio for the first time in the weekend, and putting up 2 points, bring the final to 284-80.
(29) OHIO UNABLE TO OVERTURN (23) TAMPA, 332-151
Ohio played their final and highest-scoring game of the weekend first thing Sunday morning against Tampa, a team they’d defeated in their only prior matchup back in 2013. Both teams used a varied jammer rotation to their advantage, with Tampa fielding six different jammers, and Ohio handing the star to eight of their twelve skaters throughout the game. The Smacktivist grabbed lead status in two of the first three jams, easily answering points put up by Ana Cheng & Smooth Operator to keep Ohio within 6 points of Tampa. In jam six, Wayman took lead, while blockers Ena Flash, Ava Tarr, Bigg Rigg, and KloverKill held off all scoring attempts by Cheng. After several double-digit jams by Tampa, a late jam nine penalty on PhDiesel gave Bigg Rigg a power start advantage, allowing her to put up another 10 points for Ohio. The next six jams paused Ohio’s progress, as Tampa jammers got lead status each time and doubled their score, opening the gap to 117-29. With a full contingent of blockers, Ohio was able to slow the bleeding, only allowing a handful of points in the remainder of the half. Back-to-back power jam situations allowed The Smacktivist and Wayman to put up 17 and 19 points respectively, bringing the halftime score to 133-69.
With Ohio still in reasonable distance for a comeback, Tampa fought hard to increase their lead from the first whistle of the second period, but not without pushback. Kitty Liquorbottom answered points by PhDiesel with 4 of her own, and a penalty on Smooth Operator allowed Ohio to hold Tampa scoreless while The Smacktivist chalked up 4 more. The Florida team racked up 26 more points before a pair of star passes got Ohio’s momentum rolling once more. Despite being short on help from their blockers, The Smacktivist snagged Ohio’s second lead status of the half, increasing the score to 97-217. An unfortunate series of penalties on Ohio & power jams for Tampa allowed them to widen the spread by 56 points over the next four jams. In back-to-back power jam opportunities, Ohio put up 36 points of their own, while Tampa jammers headed to the penalty box multiple times. Ohio finished strong, with a quick star pass to Wayman at the whistle blast in the last jam to bring the final score to 332-151.
Ohio’s record at BrewHaHa is now 6-7, and the team has turned their attention to their upcoming games against (69) Ft. Wayne Derby Girls on Saturday, June 13th at the Ohio Expo Center, and (32) Toronto in a closed bout on Sunday, June 14th.
Images by Danforth Johnson, Bob Dunnell, and J. Wesley Bailey.