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This weekend, the Carolina Roller Girls invade Columbus as their All-Stars attempt to snap Ohio’s fifteen game home win streak. It’ll be a tough task for the team from Raleigh, North Carolina, as Ohio Roller Derby has defeated their three home opponents this season (Ann Arbor, Ithaca, and Tri-City) by an average of 162 points. Historically, Ohio holds a 1-1 record against the Carolina All-Stars. They first met back in Raleigh in 2012 where Carolina took a slim victory, 125-110. Ohio was able to get revenge on Carolina the following year in Columbus, when the home squad convincingly won 432-29. Recently, Ohio has been able to jump back into the top 40 after climbing four spaces after the last WFTDA rankings release. Conversely, Carolina also saw a five position climb to #65, as they attempt to land between #40-60 in order to play in the Division 2 Playoffs in August.

Carolina is 3-1 in their 2016 campaign, with a three game win streak coming into Columbus. They started their season with a loss to Jet City (217-140), but rolled off three wins over three days at the K-Town Shakedown hosted by the Killamazoo Derby Darlins earlier this month. At the Shakedown, Carolina was victorious over Grand Raggidy (199-168), Killamazoo (268-109), and Brew City (240-137). Carolina is anchored by the fantastic jamming duo Fanny Pack-a-Punch and Magically Maulicious, with Ginger Clobbers adding a third dynamic point scorer. Anchoring Carolina’s pack are veterans JoJo Gadget and Elektra Q-tion. With support from Grim Carrey, Critical Erin, Crank Dat, Aurora Thunder, Deanne T Krist, and MRSAless, the All-Stars have one of the strongest teams they’ve had over the last few seasons. After their tussle with Ohio, Carolina has one more final bout against Ann Arbor in order to break into the top 60 before the final rankings are released.

If the final rankings were released today, Ohio Roller Derby would be a #10 seed at one of the four Division 1 Playoff locations. Ideally, Ohio would like to climb to a #8 or #9 seed in order to avoid playing a team ranked between 25-28 in the world as their opening round opponent. A solid performance against Carolina would boost Ohio toward that goal, but it is yet to be seen how the other teams ranked around OHRD will fare at the final rankings release. To say that Ohio’s fate is in their own hands would be an understatement. A solid performance would keep them in the Division 1 picture. However, a sub-par performance against a very good opponent like Carolina could stop Ohio’s progress in its tracks.

Ohio will play Carolina at 5:00 p.m. with Gang Green taking on Carolina’s reserve team, the Bootleggers, to follow. Doors open at 4:00 p.m. and additional information can be found on Ohio Roller Derby’s Facebook page and at http://www.ohiorollerderby.net.

Photos by: Joe Mac

Andrew Marron