Pheww! What a weekend!
What a beautiful and amazing weekend! The Mitten Kitten Mash Up state tournament was better than we could have imagined. Mackinaw City is a great location to enjoy the fall and celebrate Michigan roller derby. The evening sunsets on Lake Huron that could be seen from our hotel bid us a good night’s rest each evening, and the spectacular sunrises sent us off into battle each morning.
The team arrived in Mackinaw City Friday with an opportunity to settle in before our first scheduled game Saturday morning against the #2 seed, Killamazoo Derby Darlin’s Kill Squad. They turned out to be a very equally matched team for us. KRG #7, took the upset win by a mere 13 points, 206 to 219. It was a back and forth point battle the entire length of the game which made for an exciting morning for fans and skaters alike. Taking the win, KRG was given an entire day to rest up before moving on to play East Lansing’s Mitten Mavens, the #3 seed.
The Mitten Mavens game was tough. KRG played the Mavens earlier this summer, it was the only team in the bracket we had any experience with. We knew they were hard hitters with skilled offensive strategy but we thought we could take them since we nabbed a win against the Mavens earlier in the season. We came out strong in the first half, our defensive walls were reforming quickly and we had some pretty stellar jams. We went into halftime ahead with 68 points to Mavens’ 49.
The second half started out same as the first, and then it began to run away from us quickly. Mavens turned up the heat and the hits, and so did their cheering section. East Lansing’s and Flint City’s fans combined as one and brought the house down with their fandom. It was nearly impossible to hear anything without shouting at the top of your lungs, but boy did it make everything else so much more exciting. East Lansing rallied through the second half and conquered KRG with a final score of 179 to 100. What a comeback!
Having lost the game against the Mavens, we were slated to play for 3rd and 4th place against either #4 seed, Ann Arbor Derby Dimes’ Ypsilanti Vigilantes, or the #1 seed, Toxic Cherries from Traverse City, who were playing each other during our 2 hour recess. This meant whoever won that game would only have about 20 minutes before having to play us. Woof!
During our short break we stretched, watched the teams play, and took a look at some stats between us and who we were expecting to play. It looked good, we looked well matched and we were so excited to play this final game of the weekend. The game between the Vigilantes and the Toxic Cherries ended as predicted; KRG to play the Vigilantes!
Ann Arbor is made up of some classy skaters with lots of patience and skill. They had some skaters with fresh legs coming into this final game, but most had just that 20 minute rest period before coming back to the track. We were feeling a mix of soreness after the physically brutal game with the Mavens, and also an intense energy of a second-wind that was making us feel light on our feet. We were feelin’ good!
The game against the Vigis was great and full of camaraderie and fancy skill, the point spread never got too far away from either of us, but in the end the #4 Vigilantes took 3rd in Michigan D2 with a 168 to 116 win over #7 Keweenaw.
We are so very thankful for the Michigan roller derby community who is made up of hundreds, if not thousand of people. Skaters, organizers, game crew officials, vendors, folks that do the dirty work, family, and fans… it has been amazing because of every bit we’ve all individually contributed to the larger whole. Thank you River City Renegades for being incredible hosts, and to all of the Mitten Kittens out there! We can not wait until next year!
For pictures from the weekend check our Deford Designs on facebook.