For a league that’s only a few months old, the Pinellas County Roller Girls’ first bout, Roll-a-Hula-Luau, was surprisingly competitive. Still a bit short on technical finesse, Pinellas County opted to go the action route. Hard hits, bodies falling, and frequent lead changes. Frankly, all the main ingredients one looks for in a roller bout. Given the steep learning curve these ladies are up against (most having started skating a few months ago), and despite a few technical gaffes, in the end the teams were evenly matched. With the themed Lava Ladies taking a win over the Loco Coconuts: 140-116.
Foreshadowing their inevitable win, the Loco Coconuts grabbed an early lead. Jammer Sindy Lou Who opened with a big, eight-point jam. Setting the Coconuts to keep the their lead afloat with more big jams courtesy of Ema Fierce (12-17) and Poco D. Bear (12-21).
Though evenly matched, strategy-wise, the teams had two very different approaches. The Lava Ladies defense revolving around strong “wall” formations. With derby veteran Murder Ride (a re-monikered BonE Breaker) taking point, and Brawl Marx and Iron Rose picking off the stragglers. Thus allowing their jammers, like K.D. Stroyer (33-36) and Blitz Zicke (37-36) easy paths through the pack and into a small lead.
Motivated, the Lava Ladies pressed on, with Buttercup pulling out a non-lead “lead;” after taking a rough Induce-N-Pain/Vortexxx hit (50-44). Soon followed by Blitz Zicke, who pushed ahead after the Lava Ladies’ captain, Iron Rose, towed the 20-ft pack boundary line to take Induce out (62-51).
The Loco Coconuts’ defense would finally pull together at the end of the first half. Blockers Sindy Lou Who and SpyRo managing to hold K.D. Stroyer to a negligible gain (66-55). Soon followed by a big Ultra Sonic jam; Sonic skating circles around the competition. Circles aided by a relentless VigilAnte, M. Pyre Wrecker, and Ema Fierce wall (70-64). Closing the gap so well that the Lava Ladies were only ahead by a hair at the half (73-72).
Roll-a-Hula-Luau’s second half played out with a marked difference from the first. Halftime strategizing having worked noticeably, there were now lots of short, smart jams.
It wasn’t until Lava Lady Carri Co-Dependent’s power jam that the Ladies would finally reestablish their lead (88-80). At which point it became a case of holding onto it. Elementary stuff with Iron Rose clearing out holes through the pack for Brawl Marx, while ProCrashinator pounded on Smash A. Licious (102-102).
Slowed a moment after a few scoring flubs, and the Ladies were again clearly in charge. The Ladies’ Shelly Beach, ProCrashinator, and Salt T. Slayer holding Ultra Sonic while Marx did damage as the non-lead “lead.” A call mix-up, having Sonic think she’d fouled out when she hadn’t, gave Marx even more time to score (118-107).
Spiraling down, the Loco Coconuts became mired in penalties, making any recovery impossible. Roll-a-Hula-Luau ending with a Lava Ladies win: 140-118. Lava’s MVPs were Iron Rose (blocking) and Blitz Zicke (jamming); while the Loco Coconuts’ were Ema Fierce (blocking) and Ultra Sonic (jamming).