The last time the Tsunami Sirens roller derby team encountered the Red Bluff Derby Girls on the flat track, the Sirens left with unfinished business.
On May 4, the Derby Girls defeated the Sirens, 142-106, in a bout in Red Bluff. It would be the first of three consecutive losses the Sirens (2-3) suffered over the last two months.
“We were way up in the first 10 minutes,” Siren Liz “TeacHer Some Respect” Calleja said. “We have the potential to (beat Red Bluff) — it makes people feel like we can do it. We lost pretty fair and square.”
“It was just a very tough game,” said Siren Autumn “Sprint Eastwood” Luna. “Both teams, I think, played well. I think penalties played a part (in the loss).”
The Sirens get their second chance at the Derby Girls today at 6:30 p.m. at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds main building. Tickets cost $15 and may be purchased at the door; doors open to spectators at 5:30 p.m. The Sirens will also be supporting the Relay for Life cause with a $1,000 donation of the proceeds from the bout.
The Sirens lost a road bout to the Resurrection Cumbustin’ Betties of Rohnert Park, 203-156, on June 29. The HRD Widowmakers of Eureka also defeated the Sirens, 153-142, on June 20.
Injuries and roster fluctuation have affected the Sirens’ cohesion on the track. After beginning the season with 16 skaters, the Sirens are expected to field at least 12.
“We have a very, very small team, and half the team didn’t play with us (at the beginning of the season),” Calleja said. “It’s like starting fresh again.”
One reason for optimism: The development of newbie skaters, who have been in the Sirens’ training program for months but have participated in a few bouts.
“The newbies are definitely getting motivated,” Siren Ana “Autopsy’ana” Jaime said. “They’re hungry for more.”
For Luna, the Red Bluff bout in May marked her second with the Sirens. She began skating with the team in January and is becoming, in the eyes of team members, a reliable contributor.
“The first time you bout, it’s one of the scariest things you’ve ever done,” Luna said. “I had to take the California State Bar exam, and I was more scared of the bout.”
Shelly “Sista Rage” Gollaher will make her fourth appearance as a Siren in the Red Bluff bout. Gollaher — the daughter-in-law of Sirens head coach Jack “Old Xchool” Gollaher and sister-in-law of Danielle “Ragin’ Reg” Arispe — moved with her husband, Joe, and children to Brookings from Colorado in November and was immediately conscripted to join the Sirens.
“I had to really concentrate and focus on how the sport’s actually played,” Shelly Gollaher said. “I was totally lost.”
Perhaps most important, she has learned to work with her head coach.
“When I’m out there I don’t think of him as my father-in-law,” Shelly Gollaher said. “I think of him as Coach. I think it’s awesome (having him as a coach).”