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(47) Ohio Roller Derby Launches Season Against (62) North Star Roller Derby

Ohio Roller Derby will open their thirteenth season on Saturday, March 17th, against North Star Roller Derby (Minneapolis, MN) here in Columbus at the Ohio Expo Center. The two teams have met only twice before, most recently in 2012, when Ohio pulled off a 149-101 road victory at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Though six years have passed, a few OHRD veterans from that roster remain, including Amy Spears, Bigg Rigg, Kitty Liquorbottom, Paige Bleed, and Zee “Loraine Acid” Gulertekin. The All Stars return to their home track at the Ohio Expo Center after a long hiatus from competitive play following their appearance at the 2017 WFTDA Division 2 Playoffs in Pittsburgh, PA, last August. Ohio went 1-2 at the tournament: after a difficult first game defeat by frequent opponent No Coast Derby Girls (Lincoln, NE), they pulled out a decisive victory over Treasure Valley Roller Derby (Boise, ID) and lost by only a handful of points to European powerhouse Bear City Roller Derby (Berlin, Germany). In the months since, Ohio skaters have quietly and consistently put in long hours at practice, patiently rebuilding the charter team and honing themselves for the challenges of the coming season. North Star has pared down their

DUAL WINS FOR OHIO AGAINST BRANDYWINE

Rolling with renewed momentum following their trip to the Skate to Thrill invitational, Ohio Roller Derby returned to the Ohio Expo Center to spar with Brandywine Roller Derby, a first-time matchup for the two leagues. (35) OHIO SUBDUES (48) BRANDYWINE, 248-108 With 4 sanctioned games already under their skates this year, Ohio has begun to coalesce and fine tune their defense, giving them the leg up on the Brandywine Belligerents, who had not played a game since the 2016 International WFTDA Division 2 championship game last November. A short Brandywine roster also benefited Ohio, as mounting penalties and foul outs became an additional obstacle late in the second half. The Belligerents posted the first 4 points of the game, but Val Holla lit up the pack for 18 points in the second jam, giving Ohio a lead that they would never relinquish. Three jams later, Slammerhead forced Lurz Lemon into a track cut penalty, gifting Ohio the first power jam opportunity of the game and a 9-point gain; Brandywine found their own power jam moments later, grinding out 14 points after Ohio lost lead status on a low block call. Blitz Lemon and Lurz Lemon faced off, with lead going to Brandywine, but

OHIO ROLLER DERBY RETURNS TO SKATE TO THRILL, FINISHES 2-1

Squeezing in a jam-packed travel weekend between home games, the Ohio Roller Derby All Stars again made the trip to St. Charles, Missouri, to participate in the third annual Skate to Thrill Invitational. Their debut at the tournament in 2016 resulted in a tough first-game loss to No Coast Derby Girls, a last-minute upset over Houston Roller Derby, and a sound victory against the Chicago Outfit. This year, (35) Ohio found themselves rematched against (49) Houston and (34) No Coast on day one, with a third game against the (89) Killamazoo Derby Darlins to round out the weekend. REINED IN BY HOUSTON, 203-259 While Ohio’s season revved up earlier than usual this year, the first game of the weekend was also the first for Houston since WFTDA Division 2 Playoffs last August. Despite the early hour, Houston came out swinging, outscoring Ohio 2-1 over the first twenty minutes of play. Pain Train, Gorges Curves, and Blitz Lemon were undeterred, amassing 34 points over 4 jams; down 82-104 with 5 minutes remaining in the period, a successful official review by Ohio resulted in the expulsion of a Houston skater and a pack advantage. Struggling with penalties for much of the half, Ohio still

OHIO SPLITS WINS WITH NAPTOWN TO KICK OFF SEASON TWELVE

After a road trip to Indianapolis in February, Ohio Roller Derby began their twelfth home season with a doubleheader rematch against Naptown Roller Derby. In their tenth meeting in nearly eight years, the Ohio Roller Derby All Stars looked for a more decisive win than their most recent 147-145 victory over the Naptown Roller Derby Tornado Sirens, while Gang Green aimed to beat Naptown’s B-team, the Warning Belles, for the first time since 2009. (35) OHIO FALLS JUST SHORT OF (31) NAPTOWN, 149-162 Knowing that the track to victory would be hard-fought and every single point could prove crucial, the Ohio Roller Derby All Stars launched a rapid assault from the first whistle, with Gorges Curves and Pain Train opening a 17-0 lead in their first home jams for Ohio. Naptown tied up the score over the next two jams, then forced the first lead change of the game in jam 6. Pain Train grabbed lead status in the following jam as Naptown gave up the first power jam opportunity of the period, and posted 14 unanswered points to retake a 37-26 lead. Despite finding themselves at a 3-4 pack disadvantage and eventually losing their jammer to the penalty box, Ohio’s blockers

OHIO FINISHES 2016 SEASON WITH 1-2 RUN AT PLAYOFFS

From a strict win-loss pattern perspective, Ohio’s performance at the 2016 International WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs in Madison, WI looked eerily similar to their trips to D1s in Evansville, IN in 2014 and Dallas, TX in 2015: a tough loss to a higher-seeded team in their first game on Friday, a much more closely contested loss in the consolation bracket on Saturday, and a sound victory in their final game on Sunday. As teams at Playoffs only know for sure who their first opponent will be, Ohio needed to be prepared not only to play Windy City in Game 1, but any of the other eight teams in the tournament over the course of the weekend, from #10 seed Mad Rollin’ Dolls to the #1-ranked team in the world, Gotham. Of the 16 skaters playing for Ohio over the course of the weekend, 13 had skated at D1s in previous years, giving the team a veteran advantage with a good dose of fresh blood in both the blocker & jammer rotations. SCATTERED BY WINDY CITY, 152-210 The #8-#9 seed game promised to be a close one, as Ohio & Windy City have been closely ranked in Division 1 since the end of