In an exciting and physical matchup, the Santa Cruz Derby Girls’ Harbor Hellcats secured a 166-144 win over Sacramento Roller Derby on Saturday night at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium.
“This win was so much more rewarding considering how hard we’ve worked this season to become a strong, cohesive team,” said Kylie Carino-Condon, aka High Roller, MVP blocker for the bout and co-captain of the Hellcats. “Working on solid walls and refining our jammers allowed us to flourish as a team. I’m really proud to be able to come into this team as a player and as a captain and get to grow with it.”
The Hellcats started strong and held the lead for the majority of the bout, leading by as many as 25 points. With only seven minutes left in the game, however, Sacramento capitalized on Santa Cruz penalties and fought back with an 18-0 jam to jump ahead of the Hellcats, 138-132.
Santa Cruz tightened up its defense and immediately answered back with eight points. With two minutes left in the game, Santa Cruz jammer Amber Parker, aka Splendora, cinched up the game with a monster 20-point jam to give Santa Cruz breathing room to close out the game.
Lexi Baldisseri, aka Absolutely Scabulous, was MVP jammer for the night and was honored at the bout, along with her partner, Clay Edgin, Santa Cruz Strength league sponsor.
“It was my first game back after having my son, but also my last game with SCDG as I’m leaving for a new job in Austin, (Texas),” Baldisseri said. “Santa Cruz, both the city and the league, have been generous with their love and I will always consider it my home. There is no better feeling than skating for our fans. Thank you for bringing the energy and loving derby as much as we do!”
The evening began with an expo bout featuring Santa Cruz’s newest junior derby skaters, ages 7-17, followed by a special proclamation presentation by City of Santa Cruz Mayor David Terrazas, who was honored with the roller derby name, Terrazasaurus Wrecks.
Mayor Terrazas recognized the Santa Cruz Derby Groms, the No. 1 junior derby league in the world and the Santa Cruz Derby Girls’ adult All-Star team, the Boardwalk Bombshells, on their No. 16 international ranking.
The Bombshells are making their way to the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association playoffs next weekend in A Coruña, Spain.
**Article by Eileen Hill as printed in the Santa Cruz Sentinel**
**Photo Credit: Adam Freidin ©2018**