The Battle of the Valley (BitV) proved to be a battle of skills, sheer strength and strategy this past weekend, as four teams, Lehigh Valley’s Special Vixen’s Unit (SVU), New Jersey Roller Derby (NJRD), Pottstown’s Roller Derby Rockstars (PRDR) and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s Roller Radicals, met to make their mark in this battle at the end of the 2012 season. The tournament started with Lehigh’s Special Vixen’s Unit taking on New Jersey Roller Derby. It was a vicious beginning with both teams fighting to gain an early lead. The New Jersey Roller Derby jammers, such as their star jammer Pixie Bust, was relentless and took command early, establishing a 10 point lead at the half, with a score of 98-88.
Both teams looked physically exhausted at the half, but with some restrategizing, the Special Vixen’s Unit brought a big surprise to New Jersey in the second half. The SVU blockers, led by Captain Tortellina Temptress, became a more cohesive unit and began to capitalize on their walls and jam start strategies. Pivots Wayward Stay, D.TainHer and Minerva Steel took command of their packs, which allowed the Lehigh team to incrementally gain points jam after jam. There was also break out blocking by LVRG’s Phish Tahko, who commanded the front of her packs to keep NJRD’s jammers from getting ahead, and blocking by Stella McHurtye, who established herself as a force to be reckoned with on the track. Also, Lehigh Valley tournament newcomers, Dixie Freebird, Christie Winkler and NJ Wrecker, had some great debut tournament performances. After a long fought battle, the SVU team took the semi win over New Jersey Roller Derby with a score of 198-135. This allowed the SVU team to advance to the finals to play the winner of the second semi final bout.
In the second semi final game of the tournament, the returning 2011 BitV champions, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Roller Radicals, took on Pottstown’s Roller Derby Rockstars. Pottstown came out strong for this semi final bout and took immediate control of both the pack speed and lead jammer status the majority of the first half. Led by defensive blocking by A. Moral and outstanding jamming by Sun Drop, Pottstown looked solid and kept their lead to end the first half with a 14 point advantage at 84-70. At the start of the second half of this semi final bout, there were early penalties on the Pottstown side that allowed WBRR to catch up fast. It was still any team’s game, as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre experienced many penalties also, losing one of their best skaters to an early ejection. However, Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre proved to Pottstown that they are still the powerhouse they were in the 2011 BitV, WBRR took advantage of Pottstown power jam after power jam once Pottstown got into penalty trouble. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre pulled away with too many points for Pottstown to catch up with after they got out of penalty trouble, and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre took the semi final win over Pottstown with a score of 163-136. This moved the 2011 BitV champions to play in the finals.
|LVRG's MeBust U Up and D.TainHer take on WBRR's Jammer|
After a short half time break, both teams were fired up to end each of their seasons with a big championship win. Both teams continued to fight and the score continued to seesaw back and forth for the first 10 minutes into the second half of finals play. It was an all out war between the two teams which resulted in not only injuries that took out two of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s jammers (Pussycat Mauls suffered from a broken ankle), but penalties also took out another ejected Scranton/Wilkes-Barre player, Veronika Gettsberger. LVRG was quick to capitalize on these advantages as SVU blockers Good Time Charlie and Estelle Hurtz cleared all paths for their jammers to score grand slam points three jams in a row. Those points were exactly what the Special Vixen’s Unit needed to gain a lead in the evenly matched bout. As the clock ran out in the second half, the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls secured the title as the 2012 Battle in the Valley Champions with a final score of 131-107 over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Roller Radicals.
It has been a great season for the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls. We thank all of our fans for supporting us, and all of our referees and volunteers. We look forward to the 2013 season, which starts back up on February 16th, 2013 with an LVRG interleague bout. Please stay posted to this blog for updates, the posting of the upcoming 2013 season schedule, and more information on how to become an official.