Muñecas fall to Seattle in a nail-biter
They'd been outplayed in the first period.
Muñecas Muertas jammers spent the better part of 30 minutes behind a brick wall of Rat City blockers. When the buzzer sounded, Burque’s squad was facing a 42-point deficit. Players looked frustrated—but collected.
Duke City was losing 80-38 at halftime against Seattle's travel team, the Rat City Rollergirls. They’d capitalized on penalties against the Muñecas' jammers and threatened to turn the game into a blowout.
The Muñecas’ second-period cheer signaled a change in attitude and a change in the game. They rolled out of the locker room with a new determination. With Rat City’s jammers running into some penalty troubles of their own, the Muñecas pounced.
It took the Duke City all-stars only six second-period minutes to turn an 80-38 laugher into a slugfest at the Santa Ana Star Center. With her trademark intensity, Kamikaze Kim notched 19 points in a crucial jam early in the period that tightened the bulging point spread. "I knew that they had a jammer in the penalty box, and it was time to score some points," Kamikaze Kim said. "My blockers did a really good job of slowing it down and making it possible for me to score."
From that point on, the contenders took turns holding onto the lead. In the end, penalties made the difference. Down the stretch, the Muñecas found themselves in the penalty box on several late jams. The Rollergirls took advantage to secure the 125-118 victory.
"It was pretty much neck-and-neck after we came back," Muñecas jammer Meep Meep said. "We decided we weren't going to lose by 50 points. We got hungry for it."
Rat City blocker Swede Hurt said the Muñecas took her team by surprise post-halftime. "We might have slacked a little, but I think they wanted it," Swede Hurt said. "It was a battle to get back and win."
"I know people are going to feel like I'm a jerk. Honestly, all that shit I did was just to keep people entertained."
Kamikaze Kim said she'll have to look at the list of penalties to see what the refs called. She said both teams made the most of the other squad's mistakes. "We need to play a little cleaner," the team captain said. "We'll have to adjust."
Rat City is ranked fifth out of 17 teams in the West Region, just ahead of the sixth-place Muñecas. In the final minutes, it was a seesaw battle where no team was able to pull away. Muñecas blocker Miss E. Vil said in the early going Rat City was able to trap Duke City's jammers and keep them from breaking out of the pack. "They're really smart about how they play the game," Miss E. Vil said, but her crew fought with heart. “We gave it all we could."
Kamikaze Kim said she's encouraged by her team's ability to close in on one of the better teams in the region. Despite the disappointing outcome, Kamikaze Kim maintains the Muñecas could have wound up on top. "If we had one more jam it could have been a different story," she said. "It really could have gone either way."
The DoomsDames entered the Santa Ana Star Center as Duke City Derby's reigning champions. After a 169-33 drubbing at the hands of the DCD's Derby Intelligence Agency, it's clear the team's status as league dominators is gone.
"Oh my gosh, we have a lot to work on," said captain Miss L. Command. "We were up against a lot of experience tonight."
Before Saturday's game, the DoomsDames had never lost a bout. Since the last full Duke City Derby season in 2007, the DoomsDames hemorrhaged many of their best players to other teams. The squad is now loaded with newbies who were annihilated by veteran opponents, including D.I.A.'s Kamikaze Kim, who once buoyed the DoomsDames as a key player.
The Dames' first game of the season was against a team stacked with talent. The Derby Intelligence Agency boasts six players from the Muñecas all-star team. Judging from the merciless rout, D.I.A. looks poised to make a run at the Duke City Derby throne. "They came out very motivated," said jammer Muffin. "You train to a certain level, and you can bring some intensity, but ultimately, it comes down to your experience."
The bout was never close. It took the DoomsDames nearly 12 minutes to score their first points, and by then, the score was already 34-4. In the midst of the blowout, Muffin did some taunting—skating backwards while looking at the opposing blockers, who were powerless to stop her from breaking through the pack. "I know people are going to feel like I'm a jerk," Muffin said. "Honestly, all that shit I did was just to keep people entertained."
Miss L. Command said she saw encouraging signs pointing to a brighter DoomsDames' future. "I think our new jammers looked great," Miss L. Command said. "They have a lot of pep and a lot of get up and go."
She said the bout is a valuable learning experience for her young squad. "We're going to watch a lot of game footage," Miss L. Command said. "We'll talk about where we broke down, where the other team was stronger and where we were strong, too."
DoomsDames jammer Trouble Yumm said her squad will enjoy the taste of victory soon. "I promise the DoomsDames will win," she said. "They will win."
See extensive photos from the match here.