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."
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."
“I'm absolutely stoppable, but nobody told me no. It's very important to tell me no.”
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."