Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Minnesota All-Stars v Naptown Tornado Sirens preview (DNN version)

The Minnesota RollerGirls end their home season this Saturday as they host Indianapolis' Naptown Tornado Sirens on the polished concrete of the Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium.

The stage for this bout was set in September when both Minnesota (#2 in the NC, ranked #14 by DNN) and Naptown (#6 in the NC, ranked #24 by DNN) shattered expectations at the 2010 NC Regional tournament. The MNRG jumped from 7th-seed to 2nd place by upsetting Detroit and Madison, while Naptown's finest battled past Arch Rival and Brewcity to earn 6th place. North Central's two surprises had already planned a bout for April - the first between the two in their history - but the upsets have added spice to the anticipation of their players and fans.

Both teams are running winning streaks that will be defended on Saturday. Minnesota is 7-0 when defending on Saint Paul soil (dating back to their Brawl of America victory against Grand Raggidy), while Naptown is 7-0 since 2010's NC Regionals.

Naptown's been playing mostly against mid-ranked North Central teams since the tournament. They most recently defeated the Brewcity Bruisers (#8 in the NC) by seventeen points. Meanwhile, Minnesota's three home stands since the new year have been against Madison (#3 NC, #18 DNN), Tucson (#9 W), and DC (#9 E), defeating each team by over a hundred points.

The rankings favor Minnesota, but there's good reason to cheer on Naptown. Maiden America, Willa Hoeflinch, and Dora the Destroyer came out of the North Central tournament with a lot of new fans for their unflinching jamming abilities. Amooze Booche is back from injury and putting up some pretty fine jams as well. Minnesota's path out of the pack will be guarded by veteran Naptown blockers, including founding member Sweet C and Ima Hurchu...with Cereal Killer up front.

As for Minnesota, we'll see L'exi-Cuter (7-7, 57 points v DC), Harmony Killerbruise (8-10, 42 points v Madison), and recent transfer MEDUSA (4-5, 72 points v Madison) all lacing up. However, Minnesota uses about eight jammer/blockers in a single bout as they look for the right match against the opposing team. Therefore, you'll just as likely see those three playing fast-paced defense as you will see them on the jammer line. The defense specialists also look good; Tiki Torture, Vuedoo Prodigy, and co-captain Coochie Coup will all be hunting down Tornado Siren jammers.

This bout will give us a snapshot of two strong North Central teams as we head towards the Midwest Brewhaha and the second quarter of WFTDA rankings. Minnesota will want a convincing win as they defend their #2 spot against a touring Detroit, while a Naptown victory would upend the state of Midwestern derby yet again.

For those a mountain range away, the bout's free-per-view can be seen (and commented about) at beginning at 7pm CDT. Naptown will hit the track at or shortly after 8:15 CDT.