From: Atlanta, Ga.
DNN Rank: 21st
WFTDA Rank: 6th South Central
How they match up: Defeated Kansas City by 70. Lost to Texas by 20 and Naptown by 18.
Outlook: Atlanta certainly earned the nickname “Hotlanta” as the surprise team of the South Central Regional Tournament. Atlanta, which was the sixth-seed in the tournament, bested third-seeded Houston in the first round before upsetting No. 2 seed Kansas City in the semifinals. Atlanta proved they belong with just a 20-point loss to top-seeded Texas in the championship bout. Things are just peachy for the Dirty South Derby Girls as they have compiled a 13-4 record on the season and wining eight of their last nine. Having the home crowd behind them in the National Tournament won’t hurt either.
B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls
From: San Francisco, Calif.
DNN Rank: 5th
WFTDA Rank: 3rd West
How they match up: Defeated Kansas City by 88, Texas by 71 and Windy City by 15.
Lost to Denver (twice) by 138 and 15, and Gotham by 103.
Outlook: Eight of Bay Area’s 11 games have been decided by 88 points or less. That means the BAD All-Stars are quite comfortable playing in tight games. To take that statistic another step further, Bay Area (8-3) won seven of those eight double- and single-digit contests, which proves they enjoy playing in the tight games. Chances are they will probably see a tight game or two during the first weekend of November. They will meet Philly in the first round and find themselves 1-3 against the Liberty Belles all time. However, Bay Area scored its lone win over Philly last year by — you guessed it — a tight score. Two points to be exact.
Charm City Roller Girls
From: Baltimore, Md.
DNN Rank: 12th
WFTDA Rank: 4th East
How they match up: Defeated Windy City by 36 and Minnesota by 6. Lost to Philly by 28 and Gotham by 197.
Outlook: Charm City is no stranger to the national spotlight, having qualified for the year-end tournament in 2010 and 2011. This year, they had to scrape a little bit to punch their ticket, climbing one spot from the fourth seed at Regionals to the final three. Charm has found success in the Midwest this year, topping teams like Windy City and Minnesota, but a first-round date with Denver will be a whole new mountain to climb.
Denver Roller Dolls
From: Denver, Colo.
DNN Rank: 3rd
WFTDA Rank: 2nd West
How they match up: Defeated Bay Area (twice) by 20 and 138, Windy City by 9, Minnesota by 185, Philly by 98, Kansas City by 110. Lost to Gotham by 125 and Oly Rollers by 7.
Outlook: At 9-3, the Mile High Club is rolling on all cylinders. They’ve beaten formidable opponents on big stages and came within a jam of winning the Western Regional Tournament, which contained arguably the most competitive bracket. Having scored early season victories over their first two potential opponents in the National Tournament, Denver could be in position for a podium appearance even if it loses to potential third-round matchup Gotham in the semifinals.
Gotham Girls Roller Derby
From: New York, N.Y.
DNN Rank: 1st
WFTDA Rank: 1st East
How they match up: Defeated Philly (twice) by 125 and 211, Charm City by 197, Texas by 205, Bay Area by 103, Windy City by 165, and Denver by 125.
Outlook: The team that gave Gotham their closes game this season was Rose City who came within 69 points. Rose City did not qualify for the National Tournament. Quite simply, Gotham has reason to feel that anything less than another National Championship is a bust. A test could arrive in the undefeated Oly Rollers, but that won’t come until the championship bout. Gotham is hoping to become the first team to win three championships, having declared titles in 2008 and 2011. Gotham is 12-0 on the season and currently holding a 26-game winning streak that stretches back to 2010.
KC Roller Warriors
From: Kansas City, Mo.
DNN Rank: 19th
WFTDA Rank: 2nd South Central
How they match up:
Outlook: Kansas City (6-6) has only won two sanctioned bouts since mid-June and both came at the South Central Regional Tournament. They will be relying heavily on experience, having qualified for the National Tournament the last four years. Kansas City is an original WFTDA member and is one of only five teams that have won the whole the whole thing as the Missouri squad took the crown back in 2007. Kansas City took fourth place last year.
From: St. Paul, Minn.
DNN Rank: 10th
WFTDA Rank: 2nd North Central
How they match up: Defeated Naptown by 187 and 35. Lost to Charm City by 6, Philly by 40, Denver by 185, Oly by 60 and Windy City by 12. They also tied Windy City.
Outlook: Minnesota’s season has resembled one giant wave. A 6-1 start was followed by a unique tie with Windy City, that seemed to initiate a significant downfall that spawned six straight sanctioned losses over a two month span. Minnesota (8-8-1) rebounded nicely at the North Central Regional Tournament with a second-place finish. But is this most recent wave climbing towards an impressive crest, or crashing into the sand? This is the third straight trip to the national tournament for Minnesota.
Naptown Roller Girls
From: Indianapolis, Ind.
DNN Rank: 17th
WFTDA Rank: 3rd North Central
How they match up: Defeated Kansas City by 3 and Atlanta by 18. Lost to Windy City (twice) by 120 and 118, Minnesota (twice) by 197 and 35, and Oly Rollers by 160.
Outlook: Things haven’t been very sleepy for Naptown, which is coming off a third-place finish in the North Central Regional Tournament. The Tornado Sirens have accumulated a 10-7 record this season but have struggled of late. The Sirens dropped their final regular season meet against Windy City by 120 points. It was the second time in their last three matches that they lost by triple digits. Naptown has lost five of its last eight contests coming into the National Tournament.
From: Olympia, Wash.
DNN Rank: 2nd
WFTDA Rank: 4th West
How they match up: Defeated Denver by 7, Texas by 95, Minnesota by 60, and Naptown by 160.
Outlook: With a few late season talent pickups, Cosa Nostra Donnas have burst in to the spotlight and have posed a threat to the National Championship. Undefeated at 10-0, Oly is undoubtedly eyeing a match with also undefeated Gotham in the championship. Ten other teams are hoping that scenario doesn’t play out. What might work against Oly is the fact that their strength of schedule doesn’t compare with other national powerhouses. However, they know what it takes to get it done having won the championship in 2009. Chemistry will play a big factor as the games continue to be more competitive.
Philly Roller Girls
From: Philadelphia, Pa.
DNN Rank: 8th
WFTDA Rank: 2nd East
How they match up: Defeated Charm City by 28, and Minnesota by 40. Lost to Gotham (twice) by 211 and 125, Texas by 33 and Denver by 98.
Outlook: Philly ended up with an 11-4 record with all four losses coming to teams that qualified for the National Tournament. Gotham represents half of them and has been the biggest and most dominant opponent in the Liberty Belles’ path for years. If both teams win out, Philly would avoid their turnpike rivals until the championship game but plenty of explosives are in the minefield path for the Belles including first-round opponent Bay Area, Texas and Oly.
From: Austin, Texas
DNN Rank: 11th
WFTDA Rank: 1st South Central
How they match up: Defeated Philly by 33 and Atlanta by 20. Lost to Oly Rollers by 95, Gotham by 205, Bay Area by 71, and Windy City by 22
Outlook: They say everything is bigger in Texas. The same goes for expectations. Following a terrific 2011 campaign that took third place in the national tournament, the Texecutioners (10-6) are enjoying a thrilling season that has resulted in a 10-6 record. They survived a drought in July and August, dropping all five contests, before rebounding to win the South Central Regional Tournament. Many questions remain for Texas as they certainly aren’t on the same groove earlier in the season when they started the season 7-1 and were knocking off teams like Philly and Montreal at the East Coast Derby Extravaganza. Quality wins have been at a premium this year.
Windy City Rollers
From: Chicago, Ill.
DNN Rank: 7th
WFTDA Rank: 1st North Central
How they match up: Defeated Naptown (twice) by 120 and 118, Minnesota by 12 (also tied Minnesota), and Texas by 22. Lost to Denver by 9, Bay Area by 15, Gotham by 165 and Charm City by 26.
Outlook: Windy City hasn’t had many easy games during its 8-5-1 season. There are ties in roller derby? The Chicago team has battled powers from all over the country and earned a first round bye in the National Tournament by taking care of business at Regionals. All that did was buy Chicago a second-round meeting with either Charm City or Denver which both beat Windy City earlier this season. Is it a tough break or opportunity for revenge? Only the winds carry the answer.