Internet, get out your hankies, because Rose City’s Wheels of Justice just released a trailer that will find the tears inside even the stoniest of hearts.
As first seed entry into Charleston, however, the likelihood is that the tears will all belong to their opponents on the track. The usual top-two-bye into the tournament works in their favor, leaving them fresh to take on the winner of game #1 as their first opponent, at 4pm EDT Friday. That means that either Jet City or the Columbia QuadSquad will be meeting a fresh Rose City – a daunting task for the #8 and #9 seeds. Chances are good that Rose City will carry on through this to meet the winner of Atlanta vs. Naptown, on Saturday at 2pm EDT, though of course seedings upsets have happened many a time before – no team is safe!
But the Rose City we will see in this tournament looks quite unlike the one we saw last year. Not only have no less than seven of the team members dropped their derby names to go ‘legit’, Rose City welcomes 4 transfers into their ranks, and they’ve moved home grown talent into their roster. Whereas local and new draft Yoga Nabi Sari is out for this tournament with a back injury, they have welcomed one former WOJ skater back. Southerners (the global south, I mean) will recognize New Zealand transfer and one of the founders of Auckland Roller Derby, Hannah Jennings, who might also seem familiar to those of you who know this site, because she’s a regular editor and contributor. Elicia Nisbet-Smith, Hannah’s derby wife, favorite blocking partner, and one of the co-founders of Auckland Roller Derby, has also recently been drafted to WOJ, but not prior to the cut for Playoffs. Anticipate seeing the two of them in closely-tuned duo-blocking action at Champs, should Rose go on to prove their seeding right, along with a hopefully fully recovered Yoga Nabi Sari. All four currently rostered transfers and one new draftee (jammer Tess Yinger) played in Rose’s game against Rat City in August, when Rose won by 215 points.
Rose City’s best win for comparison might be the close game in July against Angel City, on Angel’s homeground, where they took the win in the final minutes of play. Angel City lost that same weekend to Minnesota, a team that placed third in their playoffs bracket into Champs, behind Angel City’s 2nd place entry from Salt Lake. Essentially, when it comes to the top 12 heading to Champs, it looks like even the past couple months of play predicts very little. Although it must be noted that with the addition of both Rivas and Serelson to their roster, WOJ is entering this tournament with a solid 4 players who also play for Team USA (in addition to crowd favorites Scald Eagle and Mercy) – not a fact to be sniffed at.
#100 Mercy Shammah (captain) // #127 Jessica Chestnut // #17h The Blast Unicorn // #1719 Scylla Devourer // #1889 Jessica Shipley // #2 Megan Moffatt // #21 Kate Thomason // #26 Sarah Gaither //#307 Shaina Serelson // #365 Coperna Cuss // #4 Jes Rivas // #415 Hannah Jennings // #426 Ripley // #47 Penny Dreadful (captain) // #50 Scald Eagle // #503 Tess Yinger // #523 Licker*N*Split // #77 Loren Mutch // #934 Jamie True //
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