SANTA CRUZ, CA >> Two weeks ago the Redwood Rebels took down the defending home team champions, the Steamer Janes, in a closed game held at the Santa Cruz Derby Girls’ practice facility in Scotts Valley. The Rebels repeated that performance Saturday night, closing out the Janes 239-135 at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium.
Rebels blocker and team MVP, Unleashed (Alicia Moss), attributed her team’s victory to its ability to work together while blocking.
“We stayed together really well and played together as a team,” Moss said. “We were really solid, with strong defense.”
This is the second season of home team play for the Santa Cruz Derby Girls, showcasing the league’s all-stars alongside up-and-coming skaters in mixed teams of equal skill level.
The Rebels’ decisive win against the Janes in March (233-135) marked the Janes’ first loss since the formation of home teams in 2015. With the Rebels’ win tonight, the Rebels now stand at 2-0 this season, the Janes 1-2, and the Panic 0-1.
The game started strong for the Rebels, with jammer Queen Litigious (Cheri Bell) picking up 10 points in a grand slam. The Janes trailed close behind, with Skirt Vonna-Gut (Krista Corwin) earning nine points on a power jam.
The Rebels secured a strong a lead with grand slams by jammers Roasted Pony (Tatiana Starets) and Queen Litigious, maintaining their lead for the rest of the game. Strong partner blocking by Unleashed and Melee Antoinette (Kate Wallace) helped the Rebels hold back Janes’ jammers while assisting their own jammer through the pack.
While several high point-scoring jams by Janes jammers Absolutely Scabulous (Lexi Baldisseri) and Skirt Vonna-Gut brought the Janes to within 30 points of the Rebels in the first half, the Rebels increased their lead to 132-83 at halftime.
In the second half, the Janes continued to fight hard against the Rebels, with Skirt Vonna-Gut picking up 17 points on a power jam. But effective teamwork by the Rebels and well-timed hits by blocker Ace Wenchura (Claire McCoy) kept their team with a solid lead for the remainder of the game.
Janes jammer Absolutely Scabulous was impressed with her team’s ability to step up its game in the second half, even with the Rebels’ strong lead.
“We upped our intensity a lot this game,” Baldisseri said. “We changed our energy and made [the Rebels] work a lot harder for their points.”
The next Santa Cruz Derby Girls home bout is May 21 at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. It will feature Santa Cruz’s All-Star team, the Boardwalk Bombshells, taking on Bay Area Derby’s Richmond Wrecking Belles.
**Article by Megan Alpine as printed in the Santa Cruz Sentinel**
**Photo Credit: Arne Dietrich ©2016**