The Carolina Rollergirls returned to action Saturday night at Dorton Arena in Raleigh. The marquee match between the Carolina Rollergirls' A squad, the All-Stars, and the Detroit All-Stars, went to the visitors. The final score was 138-62, and the bout included several grand slams and double grand slams. This was the fourth time the Carolina All-Stars have met the Detroit All-Stars, bringing their overall match record to two victories apiece.
In the night's undercard bout, the Carolina Bootleggers went down fighting against the Cape Fear Rollergirls, 129-83.
Here's a link to my story in last week's Indy about the Carolina Rollergirls.
Indy contributor Arianna Hoffmann attended the Carolina Rollergirls' April 18 bout against a visiting squad from Montreal. The Dorton Arena clash was a rout, with Montreal winning 135-29. Look for a story about the Rollergirls in an upcoming issue of the Indy, and enjoy the photos in the meantime. —Ed.
Photos by Arianna Hoffmann
ED. NOTE: See additional photos by Arianna Hoffmann here.
The most exciting sports event involving a Triangle team this weekend? Without a doubt, it was our Carolina Rollergirls winning a come-from-behind thriller Saturday night over the Steel City Derby Demons, 144-143, before 1,400 ecstatic fans at Raleigh's Dorton Arena.
The 'girls grabbed their first lead since early in the bout literally in the last second of action after they'd trailed by 28 with just four minutes to play. Holly Wanna Crackya (pictured at right) was the Rollergirls' heroine, racing to a huge plus-20 from her jammer position to cut the lead to eight with 2:15 remaining. After Princess America sliced the eight points to four with a winning -- and swift -- jam of her own, Crackya returned for what proved to be the final jam. She blasted through to the decisive plus-5 as the game clock expired, then threw her hands in the air in triumph as the Demons watched helplessly.
For the Rollergirls, this seems like it was a critical victory in a couple of ways. First, it should mean that they hold onto their 5th place ranking in the East division of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association. Steel City (Pittsburgh) came in ranked 7th but clearly looking to move up after winning two of their three games at the recent Eastern Regionals in Raleigh, where their one loss was to the regional champions, the Philly Rollergirls.
As important, even with the veteran (and my favorite derby name) Celia Fate on the bench nursing a strep-throat illness, Carolina was able to overcame a Steel City team that jumped on them early (26-0) and then, after halftime, jumped on them again.
Bob Geary attended the Eastern Regionals of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association last weekend at Dorton Arena. He filed this report.
An unnamed AP correspondent also attended and filed this report, which just appeared on the NY Times Web site. It says that in spite of the sport's burgeoning popularity (the Drew Barrymore movie Whip It! opens Oct. 2!), the economy has made it difficult for many skaters—who are all amateurs—to continue.
Here's the lede:
There are some pretty horrific images in the Carolina Rollergirls' online injury archive: The purple-black bruise on Kristi Kreme's thigh; the nasty case of "rink rash" on Shirley Temper's backside; the X-ray of the shattered shoulder -- and cobalt chrome implant -- that ended Harlot O'Scara's roller derby career.
Unlike her provocatively-nicknamed fellow competitors, Kelly Clocks'em has managed to skate by with just a few bruises and the odd skinned knee. In her nearly three years around the oval, the feisty 5-foot-2 skater -- real name, Abbey Dethlefs -- has taken down some pretty tough opponents, but there's one that proved too much for her.
"The economy is tougher," Dethlefs, 28, said after skating in last week's Wicked Wheels of the East tournament, her last derby event for the foreseeable future. ''I mean, it put me out of business."
DORTON ARENA/ RALEIGH—Your (our) Carolina Rollergirls put on a great show this weekend, playing host to the Women's Flat Track Derby Association's Eastern Regional tournament at Dorton Arena in Raleigh. The home team, unfortunately, was upset in the opening round Friday night by Boston, which cost them any chance to advance to the nationals in November. They bounced back Saturday to drub the team from Virginia, and on Sunday grabbed 5th place (out of 10 teams) with a convincing win over the Providence, Rhode Island club.
"What happened Friday was a big surprise to us," said Pink Slip, the skater a.k.a. Laura Slipsky, a Raleigh graphic designer. "After that, I think we all realized we had to pull together and do what we always do -- do what we practice -- and play our own game."
Boston, meanwhile, proved to be the cinderella team of the tournament. The Derby Dames upset Charm City (Baltimore) to finish third, behind Philadelphia and New York -- top three advance to the nationals, scheduled for November in Philly. (Correction: An earlier version of this, based on my misreading of the WFTDA website, said Boston was the regional champion. h/t: Hydra.)
This was your correspondent's first time at an R'girls event -- the first time, actually, that I've seen roller derby since the olden days on New York TV, where the tracks were banked, the villains dirty, the stars clean as snow white, and it was all, ah, predetermined. (Fixed.) But there's nothing fake -- other than the skaters' names -- about these new flat-track events. The women still skate hard, and they battle for position as before, but the officiating -- at least in the two games I saw -- is excellent, which means you win based on speed, strength, strategy and effort. In other words, it's a helluva sport, fast and gritty, and it's a lot of fun to watch. Regular-season games at Dorton draw an average of 1,400 fans, I'm told.