SANTA CRUZ, CA >> The Santa Cruz Derby Girls All-Stars, the Boardwalk Bombshells, lost to Bay Area Derby’s All-Stars 152-140 in a sanctioned bout closed off to the public at the Bombshells’ practice facility on Tuesday.
Over the past several years, Santa Cruz has faced off against Bay Area home teams, however Tuesday marked the first time the Bombshells played Bay Area’s All-Stars for Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) rankings.
Up until last season Bay Area has hovered in the top 10 in the rankings, dropping last season to No. 22 due to significant roster changes. Santa Cruz is currently ranked No. 17 in the world out of 323 teams.
“We’ve never been more ready as a team to play this game as we were on Tuesday night. It’s been years in the making but it really wasn’t until this season that we were ready for this game,” said Santa Cruz co-captain Regan Eymann, aka Shamrock N. Roller. “The team chemistry and dedication to each other has come together and everything is clicking and working in a way we have never seen before. We were strong, focused, and committed to our plays. The communication and calm intensity was on point.”
Santa Cruz came out strong with an aggressive defense that held Bay Area scoreless for the first nine jams, running up the score 23-0. The defensive walls of both teams, kept it a low scoring game with jammers gaining only two to four points per jam.
At the end of the first period, Bay Area capitalized when the Bombshells got into penalty trouble, scoring 16 points. Santa Cruz held on to the lead 59-45 going into halftime.
The second period continued with both teams trading off lead jammer status, gaining a handful of points each jam, and the Bombshells maintained a 15-point lead.
With 15 minutes left in the game, Santa Cruz blockers filled the penalty box in a devastating spiral of infractions. Bay Area took the lead 108-115 with a 23-point jam.
Santa Cruz rolled into more trouble with three minutes left thanks to three ill-timed jammer penalties in a row. Bay Area capitalized, driving its lead to 141-126.
With less than two minutes left in the game, there were two jams, with two official reviews for Santa Cruz, putting the Bay Area in the penalty box, but it wasn’t enough.
“The team rose to the occasion and gave Bay Area a very strong fight,” said coach Valeria Andromacha-Atha, aka Valcohol. “We may have lost the game, but I walked away proud of my team’s performance. Now, we look ahead to our next three opponents at the Golden Bowl Tournament in Oakland next weekend.”
Santa Cruz faces No. 35 Boston Roller Derby, No. 26 Tampa Roller Derby, and No. 27 Terminal City Rollergirls next weekend in its last chance to drive up its ranking prior to tournament seeding for playoffs in September.
Aug. 19 will be the next chance to see Santa Cruz play at the Civic Auditorium for the Home Team Championship and Santa Cruz Derby Groms (junior derby) doubleheader.
**Article by Eileen Hill as printed in the Santa Cruz Sentinel**
**Photo Credit: Lauren Macadaeg ©2017**