Santa Cruz Derby Girls use the force, score two wins

 

The rebellious Santa Cruz Derby Girls scored two wins over the Dark Side during a Star Wars-themed doubleheader Saturday at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. The Derby Girls took down Central Coast Roller Derby 238-164 and crushed Bay Area Derby United 328-97.

The Derby Girls’ Seabright Sirens led for most of the opener against Central Coast Roller Derby from San Luis Obispo. They came into some penalty trouble near the end of the first half, however, which led to the only lead change. Answering back, Most Valuable Jammer Kamikaze Rozy (aka Rozy Bathrick) jumped, juked and dipped around the track, putting the Sirens back in the lead with a 28-point jam.

Closing out the second half, blocker Gerle Haggard (aka Tracy Erickson) showed her versatility as a jammer. Her stellar footwork delivered the Sirens a clutch 20-point jam and earned her Most Valuable Player.

“It felt great to play as a team,” Erickson said. “Everyone is committed and works extremely hard in practice, and it felt so good to see all of our hard work come together in the game. The Force was with SCDG and it looks like the Empire struck out.”

The Santa Cruz Derby Girls All-Star team took the track in the nightcap and obliterated Bay Area Derby United of Oakland. Both teams compete in the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, but Saturday’s competition was an unsanctioned bout.

Santa Cruz, 20th in the WFTDA world rankings, pulled ahead from the start and sustained momentum by getting lead jammer status for more than 90% of the game. Timely offense and multiple 14-plus-point scoring jams put Santa Cruz ahead by more than 100 points by the end of the first half.

Santa Cruz’s blockers held Bay Area Derby United, ranked No. 21 by the WFTDA, scoreless for eight jams in a row in the second half. Midway through the second half, Bay Area called a hopeful timeout and began to score again. Still, their single-digit scores were no match for Santa Cruz’s exponentially growing lead.

Santa Cruz’s coach Jessica Snyder, aptly nicknamed The Dark Snyde, said she is proud of her team’s growth and cohesion.

“We got to see a big part of that last night — our players are versatile,” she said in an interview Sunday. “We had our jammers who became pivots leading some beautiful offense, blockers jumping into jamming and mixed-level benches that led the resistance.”

The Derby Girls return to action with a doubleheader at the Civic Center on June 29.

**Article by Kelly Mack as printed in the Santa Cruz Sentinel**

**Photo Credit: Adam Freidin ©2019**

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