Tuesday, May 6, 2014

LVRG at the Gold Coast Invitational -5/2/14

Photo by Craig Richmond
The Lehigh Valley Rollergirls All-Stars (LVRG) were busy this weekend while in Ft. Lauderdale for the Gold Coast Beach Brawl Invitational.  Within their bracket, they battled against three closely ranked WFTDA teams; Alamo City RollerGirls, Sioux Falls Roller Dollz and the Mississippi Roller Girls.  

Before the weekend began, flattrackstats.com predicted the following outcome for each game:
Vs. Alamo City RollerGirls– LVRG has a 23% chance of winning, score prediction is 23:30
Vs. Sioux Falls Roller Dollz – LVRG has a 45% chance of winning, score prediction is 18:19
Vs. Mississippi Roller Girls – LVRG has a 98% chance of winning, score prediction is 41:14

LVRG’s All-Stars took on Alamo City first and immediately took a quick 24-8 lead in the game. However, after some back and forth lead changes, Alamo City caught up bringing the score to 47-49 favoring Alamo City.  Neither team showed any signs of weakness as the game continued to be closely matched. 15 minutes into the first half, the score was tied, 53-53.

With about 9 minutes left in the first half of game play, LVRG started to struggle with keeping their jammers out of the penalty box. With one power jam after the other, Alamo City started to increase their lead. At half time, Alamo City had the largest lead in the game at 94-124.

Photo by Michael Hess
In the second half of the game, both teams came out with intensity. Point for point, jam for jam, each team did not show any advantage over each other. LVRG increased their score slightly, and then Alamo City answered right back by putting up points of their own. With 7 minutes left on the game clock, the score was 172-207, Alamo City. With a final push at the end of the game, LVRG could not make up the point spread from the first half of the game and gave the win to Alamo City with a final score of 199-233.

In the second game of the invitational against the Sioux Falls Roller Dollz (Sioux Falls), LVRG came out fighting from the first whistle. LVRG took a quick lead against Sioux Falls, but the lead changed back just as quick by the 15 minute mark of the first half with a score of 46-55 favoring Sioux Falls.  Sioux Falls showed great strength and energy, and was able to capitalize on some LVRG players visiting the penalty box. While playing short players, LVRG saw Sioux Falls take a bit of a point lead (58-67 with 8 minutes until half time).  LVRG instinctively tightened up their defense with a few minutes left in the first half and was then able to decrease Sioux Falls lead to 86-90 at the half.

Photo by Michael Hess
Since the 3rd jam of the game, Sioux Falls retained the scoring lead. This continued through the first half of game play all the way until 9 minutes were left on the game clock. LVRG capitalized on a much needed power jam and tied the score at 125-125. The crowd of spectators were going crazy, chanting "L-V-R-G."  With 3 minutes left in the game, Sioux Falls grabbed a fast 9 point jam, bringing the score to 135-144 (Sioux Falls).  LVRG didn’t let up, and forced 2 consecutive jammer cuts on Sioux Falls, allowing LVRG to catch up and surpass in points. The score with 1:30 left on the clock favored LVRG at 155-144.  Sioux Falls called a quick time out, and both teams refocused for the last jam of the game.  However, with fire and intensity, LVRG fired another cannon and rang the winning bell by the time it was all over enjoying a final score of 161-144 (LVRG).

Photo by Olivia Searfass
In the final bout of the invitational, LVRG was paired up against the Mississippi Roller Girls.  Starting the first few minutes of game play, you could not tell which team was the dominant team. 10 minutes into the first half, the score was nearly tied at 33-32 (LVRG).  LVRG was clearly having penalty trouble, but with a few adjustments to strategy, they seemed like a brand new team. LVRG got their act together and started gaining points on Mississippi. With 5 minutes left in the first half of game play, LVRG was finally ahead with a score of 95-51.  LVRG seemed in sync and settled into a nice blocking pattern and continued to capitalize on their lead. At the end of the first half, LVRG was ahead 128-74.

Photo by Michael Hess

Now that LVRG found their rhythm, they continued to block like the team was born to do it. The score continued to climb to 195-84 after 10 minutes into the second half.  LVRG gained a larger point lead jam after jam not only through power jams, but also through natural grand slams.  Half way through the second half of game play, LVRG was merciless with a score of 240-84. With WFTDA rankings on the line, LVRG could not ease up on Mississippi. Every jam after, LVRG put up more and more points. At the end of the game, LVRG took the win, 301-97. The Lehigh Valley Rollergirls finished second in their bracket for this weekend’s invitational overall.

Looking ahead, the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls’ All-Stars will play again at the end of June at the East Coast Derby Extravaganza against Charlottesville.  The week after that, LVRG’s All-Stars will face the Providence Roller Girls.  Coming up this weekend, LVRG’s Blast Furnace Betties will be facing Black Rose’s Rotten Cherries at the Independence Family Fun Center. The doors open at 5:00p.m., the bout starts at 6:00p.m.
Photo by Oliva Searfass

A big thank you to all photographers: Michael Hess, Craig Richmond and Olivia Searfass. 

1 comment:

  1. It was amazing to have you guys here in South Florida! I am so glad I got yo see you play, you're my favourite roller derby team! So I was pretty excited about the Beach Brawl.

    On saturday, I tried to see if you had merch for sale, but couldn't find anything.

    Good luck and hope I can see you play live again!