A Texas-Sized Spanking
Muñecas tan the hides of the Dallas Derby Devils
It looked like every point was going to come at a punishing price.
In the early minutes, Duke City's Muñecas Muertas and the Dallas Derby Devils were locked in a defensive, hard-hitting bout at the Santa Ana Star Center. Then Muñecas’ star jammer Muffin drew first blood.
She tore through the wall of Derby Devils and racked up big points, giving the Muñecas an early 28-18 point lead. Her jam demonstrated that the Dallas defense was penetrable. "If you can go in and prove that scoring is possible, it's important," Muffin explained after the match.
The Derby Devils struck back, and the bout looked like it could go either way during first-period play. That changed quickly in the second period after the Muñecas came out dead set on playing the game their way. They slowed the pack, their signature strategy, and that paralyzed the Derby Devils' offense. At the half, the score was 61-53 in favor of the Muñecas. The final tally was a 137-86 Duke City blowout.
In every game so far this season, the Muñecas have tried to decelerate the pack to a crawl. Blocker R2 Beat-U said successfully executing the game plan takes resolve. "It's a matter of just practicing the strategy over and over," R2 says. "Then it becomes ingrained in us like a second nature."
“I'm absolutely stoppable, but nobody told me no. It's very important to tell me no.”
Derby Devils blocker Ms. Ric O'Shea says her squad isn't used to having other teams dictate the pace. "In every game that we've played this year, we've had pretty much control of the game," O'Shea said. "We were unable to control the pack speed and that threw us off and got us unfocused."
By the end of the bout, Dallas players looked demoralized. Muñecas blocker Carson B. Demented said her team was able to take control after a shaky first half. "It was so close, and they had our number," Carson said. "We took that away from them."
Dallas likes to ram jammers and opposing blockers early and often. "They hit you over and over and over again," Carson B. Demented said. "They hit right, they hit left, then they catch up to you and hit you again. That's something we're not used to." Muñecas jammers spent a lot of time eating floor after they were dropped by Derby Devils thirsty for contact. "When you have two teams that play very good defense, the jammers just get killed," Muñecas captain Kamikaze Kim. "In that situation, you just kind of have to get yourself back up and keep going."
What was perhaps the hardest hit of the bout wasn't delivered by a Derby Devil. Muñecas blocker Death Ro sent Dallas jammer Hot 4 Teacher flying out of bounds after a vicious strike. Hot 4 Teacher appeared stunned as she sat up, looked around and then called off the jam.
As the Derby Devils' focus waned, the Muñecas gathered strength. During a late jam, Muffin sailed through the pack and treated the crowd to a little shimmy for good measure. It was a sign she and her team were brimming with confidence. "I always have the mindset that I will not stop for you until you prove that you've got something on me," Muffin said. "I'm absolutely stoppable, but nobody told me no. It's very important to tell me no."
Another D.I.A. Demolition
If the Disco Brawlers want to keep D.I.A. from running away with the title, they've got some work to do. D.I.A. took care of business with a 122-72 trouncing of arguably the second-best team in the league. D.I.A. and the Disco Brawlers both enjoyed victories in their season openers against the league's other two squads. D.I.A. walloped the DoomsDames 169-33, and the Brawlers enjoyed a comfortable win over the Ho-Bots, 137-117.
D.I.A. jumped out to an early 18-6 lead and never trailed. The scale of the victory was nowhere near as devastating as their first win, but the outcome was clear from the start.
"We just always assumed we were going to the championship."
D.I.A. blocker ¡Sabrosa!
The monumental task of bringing down the league's most formidable club was made even more difficult when the Brawlers lost star jammer Meep Meep to a knee injury at the end of the first period. Meep Meep crawled to her team's bench, and the injury seemed to seal the Brawlers' defeat. Even though the loss injured the team's speed, Brawler blocker Audie said her team didn't lose hope after Meep Meep went down. "She's a very valuable player, but we have so many strong jammers that we felt like we still had a good shot," Audie said. "We really hope she gets better."
As in the Muñecas game, D.I.A.'s Muffin could not be stopped. She glided in between blockers, too fast and too crafty to be contained. She took small holes in the defense and slid through the pack before opposing blockers could close off the gaps. She was a step ahead of everyone on the track. "Some days you have the tenacity and the will, and some days it's hard to motivate yourself," Muffin said. "Today I had it."
With the victory, D.I.A. secures a spot in the Duke City Derby championship game. League founder and announcer Nan Morningstar told the crowd as much after the bout. "I hadn't even thought about it until Nan said it," blocker ¡Sabrosa! said. "We just always assumed we were going to the championship."
Saturday, June 6, at the Santa Ana Star Center
Muñecas Muertas: 137
Disco Brawlers: 72
Saturday, June 20, 6 p.m. at the Santa Ana Star Center
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