"You don't need your nose to skate."
This weekend, the Silicon Valley Roller Girls had their first bout of the 2009 season, and also their first bout against a WFTDA-certified league, Central Coast Roller Derby.
The team did their best to prepare for a different environment at the Paso Robles Event Center, particularly CCRD's polished concrete floor. Polished concrete is notably slicker than wood floors, and so SVRG had to be sure to consider the new surface in their strategy.
The first half was a slow start for SVRG. Adjusting to the new surface was tricky, and CCRD was operating like a well-oiled machine. CCRD kept SVRG's jammers back with solid recycling, a strategy in which blockers rotate through positions in a continuous attack-and-regroup pattern. SVRG fought tooth and nail to earn their first ten points, but by the first half they had fallen behind CCRD, 55-11.
By the second half, SVRG had adjusted to the new environment and found their rhythm. SVRG concentrated on slowing down CCRD while the SVRG jammers succeeded in creeping up the score point by point on each successive jam. Pia Mess made the biggest score of the night, racing through the pack to score an 11-point jam. Feisty Irish took a particularly hard hit to the face while jamming, but rather than stop to tend to the pain, she powered through.
Despite not making a complete comeback, SVRG succeeded in regaining their traction in the second half. Playing against a seasoned team, there were many lessons to be learned. As Pia Mess noted, "This was not a loss." Rather, this was a gain in experience for the team: facing a solid and smooth defense from CCRD, accommodating a different skating surface, and learning to adjust strategies mid-bout to address opponents' strengths and weaknesses.
After the bout, a trip to the ER confirmed that Feisty Irish had broken her nose. After having it reset, Feisty was asked how long she expected to be off skates recuperating. Our diehard darling responded, "You don't need your nose to skate."
Many thanks to CCRD for hosting our first WFTDA bout!
Final score: CCRD 80, SVRG 55.