(20) Ohio Hosts (10) Atlanta this Saturday for Mother’s Day Melee
This Mother’s Day weekend, roller derby fans in Columbus will be treated to an exciting bout featuring two squads that made it to last season’s WFTDA World Championship tournament. Both the (20) Ohio Roller Girls and the (10) Atlanta Rollergirls occupied two of the twelve spots at Champs, having played their way through stiff competition at separate Division 1 Playoff locations. Both squads had such a good showing at Champs that they were both victorious in their opening round bouts with Ohio defeating Rat City (Seattle), and Atlanta defeating London (UK).
The Ohio Roller Girls are still feeling the sting of a close loss at Naptown (Indianapolis) last weekend where they fell to the Tornado Sirens 163-140. The defeat added a second tally in the loss column for the OHRG and pushed their overall 2014 record to 4-2. The Naptown bout also kick-started a grueling six week endurance test in which the Ohio Roller Girls will play a total of seven bouts, five of which will be against teams ranked above them. Their bout against Atlanta will be their toughest to date this season, with their schedule only getting harder from here on out.
Whereas OHRG has been playing consistently since March, the May 10th bout in Columbus will be the first bout of the season for the visiting Atlanta Rollergirls. The Dirty South Derby Girls currently have six bouts on their calendar with their visit to Columbus acting as their coming out party. After the Ohio dust-up, Atlanta will face off against Toronto, Minnesota, Arch Rival, Naptown, and Texas over the next few months and will finish right before the start of the Division 1 Playoffs.
Historically, these two teams have only met once before: last year, Atlanta took the victory 247-186. Although the final score was what most people in the derbyverse predicted it would be, it was how the game was won that surprised most. At one point in the first half, OHRG held nearly a 70 point lead and entered halftime with a 54 point advantage. In the second half, Atlanta ditched the Southern charm and played extremely physical derby, posting the third largest halftime deficit comeback ever in WFTDA sanctioned play history.
Ohio will have their work cut out for them, as nearly every skater for Atlanta has accrued an arm’s length list of awards and accomplishments. Second year skater Jean-Juke Picard has sprinted her way into the regular jamming rotation alongside annual highlight producer Jammunition. Atlanta’s blocking core is one of the best around, and a huge reason they made it to Champs the last two seasons. Switchblade Siouxsie is the Dirty South’s 2012 MVP and Best Blocker. She was also given an honorable mention for Team USA during the inaugural World Cup. Siouxsie will be joined by Queen Loseyateefa and Wild Cherri for the majority of the contest. Wild Cherri, transfer skater who also played with Tampa and won a championship with Gotham, was the 2012 South Central Region Tournament Most Valuable Blocker and was recently named to the 2014 Team USA World Cup squad.
Ranked #10 in the world, the Atlanta Rollergirls will be the highest ranked opponent to ever play Ohio in Columbus for a regular season bout. As previously mentioned, Atlanta is becoming a global powerhouse as they have made back-to-back appearances at Championships. A victory over Ohio would give them a solid start to their 2014 season. An upset by the home squad would be quite impactful on Atlanta’s rankings considering the small number of bouts they have scheduled this season. The Ohio Roller Girls also have something else on the line come Mother’s Day weekend–a 24 bout win streak at home! The last time OHRG suffered a loss in front of their home crowd was June 2010 when Brewcity (Milwaukee) became the last outsiders to snatch a victory in Columbus. So, the question remains: will Ohio find redemption in their rematch with Atlanta, or will the Dirty South Derby Girls erase 24 consecutive victories in Columbus by leaving town with a win?
The second bout of the afternoon will feature Ohio’s Gang Green and Atlanta’s reserve squad, the Rumble Bs. Unlike their charter team, the Rumble Bs have played twice this season. They were victorious in both outings, posting victories over Hard Knox and the Nashville Music City Brawl Stars.
Doors at the Lausche Building will open at 3:30 p.m. with the Ohio Roller Girls vs. Atlanta contest to start at 5:00 p.m. Gang Green and the Rumble Bs will begin following the conclusion of the first bout.