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OHIO FINISHES WITH A FLOURISH, TAKES DOWN CLASSIC CITY

After an intense three months of nearly non-stop derby action, including home games, tournament play, and several thousand miles of travel, Ohio Roller Derby tied the bow on the 2019 regular season with dual home track victories over first-time opponents Classic City Rollergirls (Athens, GA). While unable to blow open a wide enough spread to alter their predicted seeding for the North America East Continental Cup, the All Stars presented a solid performance to complete an 11-2 regular season, while Gang Green showed continued improvement and development of new skaters for a 5-4 season. (63) ALL STARS HOLD (78) CLASSIC CITY AT BAY, 153-107 A sizable early game lead for Ohio Roller Derby ultimately proved insurmountable for the visiting charter team, despite a second half assault that kept the All Stars on their toes. Earning lead jammer status in five of the first six jams of the contest, Ohio quickly opened a 30-1 lead over their opponents. Amy Spears forced the Classic City jammer out of bounds while Kelsey Khaos distracted defense long enough for Bigg Rigg to squeeze through the pack and nab lead in jam 7; BrussKnuckles followed up with a 5-0 run, slipping past a stalled pack in the apex.

OHIO BESTS BRANDYWINE

Skating their second-to-last home games of the 2019 season, Ohio Roller Derby welcomed Brandywine Roller Derby for Pride Night and racked up early leads that led to triple-digit victories in both games. (63) OHIO ROCKETS PAST (69) BRANDYWINE, 235-64 With just a few weeks remaining for games that can impact postseason tournament seeding, and incredibly close competition among half a dozen teams in the North America East region hovering near the cutoff point for Continental Cup eligibility, the Ohio Roller Derby All Stars drew on the momentum they gained from their 3-0 run at Midwest BrewHaHa and charged into their 12th game of the season swinging. Aiming for a 2:1 spread over the Brandywine Belligerents, the home contenders wasted no time on the track, opening a tidy 100-point lead by halftime and obtaining lead jammer status in 78% of jams. Quick shutout jams dominated the opening minutes of the contest, as Ohio jammers largely limited themselves to single scoring passes. Brandywine snuck onto the board in jam 7, but a subsequent power start for Ohio stalled their progress. KloverKill and Kelsey Khaos burned a Brandywine power jam, then Bigg Rigg made the first major move for Ohio with a 16-4 gain, shifting their

OHIO TOPPLES STEEL CITY

Hitting the road together for the first time in 2019, the Ohio Roller Derby All Stars and Gang Green hopped across the Ohio River to Pittsburgh for a pair of scrappy, hard-fought games against longtime opponents Steel City Roller Derby, scratching out late-game victories in both matchups. ALL STARS SQUEAK PAST STEEL HURTIN’, 181-167 Unceasing back-and-forth battle and a total of ten lead changes kept both teams on their toes for the entire sixty minutes of gameplay, but the final moments saw Ohio narrowly edging out their opponents. Catch Mikachu nicked the first point of the contest; two lead changes followed in as many jams, with Jane, Literally squeezing out of the pack for a 9-0 gain as a Steel Hurtin’ blocker picked up the first pack penalty. After swapping scoring passes for several minutes, Banana Jamma tied the score at 18-all despite strong triangulation from the Ohio defense; River Kyx then tipped the scales in favor of the home squad. Belle A. Trix took full advantage of a two-minute jam, edging through on toe stops for 8 points, but the Hurtin’ retaliated with back-to-back shutout jams, exploiting a depleted Ohio wall to widen their lead to 31-60. A team timeout allowed the

MIXED RESULTS FOR OHIO AGAINST NEIGHBORING GEM CITY

In their first matchups in recent memory, Ohio and Gem City faced off in two fierce battles that resulted in one win and one loss for each league. ALL STARS EDGED OUT BY PURPLE REIGN, 118-134 Aggressive from the opening whistle and only building in intensity, the charter game saw both teams fighting to find and maintain the narrowest of leads throughout both periods, and was ultimately determined in the final minutes of play. The All Stars jumped onto the scoreboard with a 4-0 inaugural jam, but the Purple Reign quickly answered with two consecutive shutout jams, causing the first lead change in jam 3. Speedy packs minimized Gem City gains in the early minutes of the period, and Ohio jammers took advantage of holes left by their opponents to race away from the defense and force early call offs. While unsuccessful in their request for an illegal contact penalty assessment to the Reign jammer at the end of jam 8, the brief lull in action allowed the All Stars to reset; BrussKnuckles pulled off the first double-digit scoring run in jam 10, sprinting up the inside for a 15-4 gain and flipping Ohio into the lead, 25-24. Gem City fired back in

OHIO DOMINATES AT PUT UP YOUR TOQUES INVITATIONAL

While multi-game tournament weekends already present a unique set of obstacles - increased fatigue, unfamiliar track surfaces, special attention to hydration and nutrition, playing earlier or later in the day than usual - adding international travel into the equation can create extra hurdles, particularly for U.S. teams that don’t necessarily do so often. Undaunted by any of the challenges presented, the Ohio Roller Derby All Stars crossed the northern border and skated their way to three decisive victories in less than 48 hours. LAST JAM UPSET OF ORANGEVILLE, 191-183 Ohio opened the tournament with a back-and-forth battle against (69) Orangeville, swapping lead ten times and eking out a last-jam victory. An initial power jam allowed Ohio to control momentum and gain small handfuls of points over the first five minutes of play before Orangeville forced the first lead change in jam 5, 12-16. BrussKnuckles fired back in jam 7, spinning through the pack to pick up 18 points and boost Ohio to a narrow 30-28 lead. A tug-of-war for lead ensued; Birch Slap quickly juked through the pack and avoided jammer defense for 7 uncontested points, but a 4-1 pack advantage for Orangeville in the following jam left little resistance against Gruesome Gracie

OHIO NARROWLY SILENCED BY ROC CITY

Barrelling full steam ahead into the season, Ohio Roller Derby hosted Roc City Roller Derby (Rochester, NY) for two incredibly close-scoring games that each saw numerous lead changes and outcomes determined in the closing minutes. (66) OHIO UPSET BY (71) ROC CITY IN NAILBITER, 156-171 Meeting for the first time since 2016, the Ohio Roller Derby All Stars and the Roc City Roc Stars fought for every point in a back-and-forth battle, with neither team managing to accumulate a sizeable lead. Six jams ending in a tied score, seven lead changes, and nine jams with matched scoring passes kept all 30 skaters on their toes while fans in attendance steadily raised the volume in the Ohio Building throughout the game. Fast pack speed in the first handful of jams minimized gains on both sides, but a star pass to Betty T. KayO helped Ohio capitalize on the first power jam opportunity in jam 6 and take an 18-14 lead. After the All Stars controlled the clock for three consecutive jams, Florence Fightingale picked up lead jammer status for Roc City in jam 11, but massive hits by Pain Train stalled her progress; meanwhile, Chainsaw took a star pass and hustled through the pack

OHIO DEBUTS PROMISING START TO FOURTEENTH SEASON

Returning once more to their home track after a long off-season, Ohio Roller Derby welcomed perennial adversaries Toronto Roller Derby to Columbus, playing two action-packed games for a nearly sold-out crowd. (64) OHIO BREAKS (58) TORONTO WIN STREAK, 150-121 Aiming to both maintain a perfect record against Toronto and disrupt their 13-game win streak, the Ohio Roller Derby All Stars rolled with multiple lead changes in the first half before tightening defense, committing to a core veteran jammer rotation, and denying points in crucial moments to secure their victory. Both teams spent the first few jams feeling out one another’s defense, swapping a scant handful of points. A penalty on the Toronto jammer allowed Catch Mikachu to make the first bold move for Ohio and pick up 12 points in jam 6; Toronto responded with back-to-back shutout power jams, posting 24 points for the first lead change of the game. Quick offense helped BrussKnuckles to snag lead and a quick 4 points, but momentum ground to a near halt in jam 11 as Bigg Rigg and Monster Muffin each fought immovable walls. Mikachu swung the momentum back in Ohio’s favor with a second lead change, posting a 13-0 gain while the home defense

OHIO GAINS EXPERIENCE IN INTERNATIONAL PLAY AT ROYAL BRAWL

While short rosters proved an extra hurdle in Ohio’s path to victory over Memorial Day weekend, both the All Stars and Gang Green challenged themselves and found other successes on the track at the Royal Brawl invitational in Guelph, ON, Canada. Endurance training paid off as skaters played in as many as five games over two days, and utilizing newer talent on both teams allowed for creativity in shifting roles and pack dynamics. SATURDAY: ROYAL CITY AND E-VILLE Gang Green opened the action at the Victoria Road Recreation Centre on Saturday morning against the Royal City Rum Rollers (Guelph, ON, CA). While obtaining lead less often than they would have liked in the first half, Ohio jammers chased down their opponents, forcing short jams and quick call offs. Birch Slap picked up the first lead of the game, but double jammer penalties and a subsequent power start allowed the Royal City B team to quickly open a 32-point lead. Avocado ToeStop, Kegel Scout, and Belle A. Trix clumped up to contain Harley Twin while Just Jane grabbed lead status and the first four points for Gang Green. After a successful official review halfway through the first period landed the Rum Rollers jammer

OHIO HANGS TOUGH AGAINST CHARLOTTESVILLE

Rolling into the second half of their home season, Ohio Roller Derby welcomed Charlottesville Derby Dames (Charlottesville, VA) for an evening of exciting, closely-contested derby action on May 12th. (51) OHIO FALLS SHORT AGAINST (42) CHARLOTTESVILLE, 108 - 165 The All Star game showed itself as a battle of grinding defense early in the first period, with both sides denying any significant point gain and hovering within easy striking distance through halftime. Fighting to establish an initial advantage, BrussKnuckles posted the first four points in jam two, but a power jam for Charlottesville permitted a 5-0 gain and the first of five lead changes. Bigg Rigg flipped the balance in jam four, eking out two points before three lead jammer calls in a row allowed the Virginia squad to retake the lead and begin building on it. Held scoreless for four jams, Ohio offered Charlottesville similar treatment with quick call offs, and jam eleven brought progress to a halt as both jammers spent two full minutes fighting tenacious defense without ever completing their initial passes. While Betty T. KayO forced Gemmatron out of bounds and back to the rear of the pack, Bigg Rigg slipped out to snag lead status and twelve unanswered

OHIO SERVES UP SWEEPING VICTORIES AGAINST WEST VIRGINIA AND SOUTH BEND

Never a team to grow discouraged over falling short in a challenging game, Ohio Roller Derby took their recent loss in stride and came out swinging in game three against first-time opponents West Virginia Roller Derby, as did Gang Green against South Bend Roller Girls. (47) OHIO DOMINATES IN DEFENSE AGAINST (91) WEST VIRGINIA, 355-82 Intense defense, 73% lead jammer status, and nine double-digit shutout jams allowed Ohio to steadily build a lead that quickly proved insurmountable for a short-rostered West Virginia. West Virginia drew first blood, snagging lead and a quick 4 points; Ohio retaliated by frustrating their jammer on a never-ending initial pass while BrussKnuckles posted a 15-0 jam. Three jams later, West Virginia looked to capitalize on a 4-1 pack advantage, but Betty T. KayO locked onto Dae-O Reckoning on her own, allowing BrussKnuckles to grab lead status and 19 uncontested points, widening Ohio’s lead to 41-8 after 8 minutes of play. While her blockers continued to shut down scoring, Jessica Rabid demolished defense and pulled in 14 points. A few brief, fruitless jams and an official timeout didn’t slow the home momentum: while Towanda Woman fought to gain traction on a slick track, Paige Bleed dropped back to execute