CRG vs. Beckley Preview

After two wins in Fort Wayne, the Cincinnati Rollergirls Black Sheep and Violent Lambs return home to Schmidt Memorial Fieldhouse at Xavier University on Saturday, May 6 to take on the Beckley Area Derby Dames and Dollhouse Derby at CRG's third annual Star Wars Night. Tank breaks down the battles.

I didn’t know that going into last weekend that my wife was going to take the sports fan crown away from me at the Miss Print-Tank compound, but that’s exactly what happened. Going into the weekend, I was pumped for the NFL Draft, as my Cleveland Browns looked to actually have a plan for the draft as opposed to their general strategy of taking a young quarterback in the first round and ruining his career before it event starts like a weird Hunger Games tribute. Friday was more of the same with me checking my phone for updates, but my interest had begun to wane, as I had no clue who these guys were that were going in the second and third round.

Then Saturday morning hit, and the script completely flipped. In the world of the Cincinnati Rollergirls, it was game day, and that meant my wife wasn’t going to be her usual self for the next 12 hours. In the morning, I had to make a trip to Dayton to discuss an upcoming art show, and Print tagged along. Once we were in the car, she quickly turned it into her own one-woman ESPN show, firing hot take after hot take at me about that night’s CRG vs. Fort Wayne rematch in Fort Wayne.

We had both watched as the Fort Wayne Bomb Squad beat CRG's Black Sheep during the unsanctioned home opener at Xavier University’s Schmidt Memorial Fieldhouse, and she was nervous about this sanctioned rematch. She broke down key matchups, returning players, who was out for the game, the coaches, what the point spread could be and more. Hell, I’m amazed she didn’t tell me the exact surface they’d be playing on that night and the hardness of their wheels.

At 6 p.m., she was perched in front of her iPad, watching a Facebook Live feed. It didn’t matter to her that she couldn’t see corner one or two, nor did it matter that there wasn’t a score overlay to tell her who was up and who was down. A smile stretched across my face as she swore and yelled at the small screen, encouraging her league mates who were nearly 200 miles away.

When the final whistle blast came and the Sheep officially beat the Bomb Squad 240-103, she cheered, and any doubts from before melted away like snow on a 50-degree day. This is why we’re sports fans: The punishing pain of losses are forgotten as the blissful euphoria of victory washes them away.

The Black Sheep and Violent Lambs both looked dominant this past weekend with both teams winning on the road. I expect them to ride that wave of momentum into the friendly confines of Schmidt this Saturday, May 6, CRG’s Star Wars Night. Just like the Empire in Rogue One, they appear to be unstoppable.

The No. 61-ranked Black Sheep are taking on the No. 108 Beckley Area Derby Dames of West Virginia in the opening game of the night at 6 p.m. While BADD are a bit of an unknown opponent coming into this Saturday night, they did go 9-3 in 2015 and had multiple 100-point plus wins last year, including a game in which they scored 461 points. With that type of firepower, they can definitely cause a great disturbance in the Force.

The Sheep, however, proved last game that they can get things done both offensively and defensively. Jammer Jas Hubbard and blocker Nuk’em both earned MVP honors last week, and I expect to see them both bring their A game this week as well. La Bruja recently returned from injury and is getting back into her normal groove of being in the right place at the right time, every time. Speaking of returning, Cincy Psych-O, who retired at the end of the 2015 season, has returned and is on the Sheep roster for Saturday night. And rookie Mae Murder, a former Cincinnati Junior Rollergirl, will be making her first appearance on the Sheep Saturday.

The Lambs game is a very intriguing matchup as well as they are taking on Dollhouse Derby, a pickup team made up of players from around the region who have dubbed themselves the Ewok Brigade for this bout. Schmidt will become sort of like the Mos Eisley Cantina, but with skates. These bouts are always interesting, as the storyline comes down to a team that plays together all the time and has its own strategy vs. a team of talented individuals that have been brought together for the night like the Bounty Hunters in The Empire Strikes Back.

Speaking of talented individuals, Ragdoll Ruby has been splitting time between the Sheep and Lambs roster, and all of that game time is really paying off. Double R was the Lambs' MVP jammer in Fort Wayne, and she’ll need to have another stellar performance to help her team get the win here.

And speaking of MVP performances, Mama Crass brought home the MVP blocker award last game, which was well deserved. Finally, this will be the first time that I get to see rookies Lena Del Gato, Noah Pologies and The Slayer in action, so I am excited about that.

In the end, I hope that both CRG teams will be able to capture a win, enjoy that victorious euphoria I was talking about earlier, and celebrate at Urban Artifact like it was the Ewok village at the end of Return of the Jedi.


Click here for more information about Star Wars Night.

Cincinnati Black Sheep vs. Beckley Area Derby Dames (6 p.m.)

Black Sheep: 135 - Jas Hubbard // 15 - Mae Murder // 22 - Cincy Psych-O // 23 - ¡I, Caramba! // 30 - Kitten Kicker // 34 - Jillian Dollaz // 42 - Ragdoll Ruby // 43 - Wheezy // 533 - Royal T // 631 - Ellie Stab'er // 66 - La Bruja // 79 - Train N Pain // 86 - Nuk'em // 93 - Macrum // Alternates: 27 - Poppy Chulo // 26 - Mama Crass

Beckley Area Derby Dames: 138 - Cupcake Cadaver // 29 - Naughty or Knicely // 3666 - Lu C-4 // 44 - T. Cooke // 8008 Sister Friction // 88 - Yula B Hurtin' // 9 - Icy Threwyu // 27 - Mega Psychotic // 3 - Khileesi Doth Rok // 204 - Vbomb // 23 - Towanda Woman // 1111 Dae O Reckoning // 888 - Malice in Rollerland // Alternates: 8 - ArmenSlammer // 22 - Phyllis Killer

Cincinnati Violent Lambs vs. Dollhouse Derby Ewok Brigade (8 p.m.)

Violent Lambs: 71 - Lena Del Gato // 0 - Cherry Choke // 15 - Mae Murder // 18 - Scrappy Sue // 21 - Ada Burnlace // 26 - Mama Crass // 27 - Poppy Chulo // 29 - ReDrum // 41 - Karli Hustle // 42 - Ragdoll Ruby // 49 - Gnarly Manson // 626 - Noah Pologies // 713 - The Slayer // 79 - Train N Pain // Alternates: 34 - Jillian Dollaz // 22 - Cincy Psych-O (22)

Ewok Brigade: 8 - Silverose // 10 - Lou C Fer // 12 - Jess Wilder // 34 - Pinkie Brewser // 36 - Moxie // 42 - Kung Fu Hussy // 85 - Honey Bunny // 89 - Megabyte // 117 - Ziggy Stargazer // 711 - Chikka Masala // 716 - Psyk Ward // 907 - Alaskan Assassin // 1313 - Betty Boom // 1712 - Navychaos // Alternates: 138 - TKO // 94 - Delirium Dancer

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