Victory slipped out of the Tsunami Sirens' grasp in the closing minutes of their final home roller derby bout of the season on Saturday at the Fairgrounds, but the 180-159 loss to the Boneyard Brawlers was a big improvement over the 129-point loss to the Cherry City Derby Girls in Salem, Ore., early in the season.
"The last time we played this team we lost by over 100 - this was way better," said Jenn "JennZilla" Longrie. "Losing was still a bummer, though, because we were ahead for about 80 percent of the match."
Although the Sirens were able to stay ahead for much of the bout, the Brawlers were never far behind.
"It was pretty close the whole way," JennZilla said. "We were neck-and-neck."
Although the Brawlers were able to close the gap and pull away for a 21-point win, JennZilla thought her team played well.
"We had good team cohesion," JennZilla said. "That is something that we have been working a lot on. We need to be able to work with everyone. We also had good communication, which we have also been working on."
Many of the Brawlers skaters were different from those they faced in Salem, but JennZilla said this crew was no less tough.
"They had some 'A' skaters on the roster the first time. This time, I don't know if they were technically 'A' skaters but they were definitely good enough to be 'A,'" JennZilla said. "They had some pretty tough women on the team. There were some hard hits in there. It was a good fight."
The Sirens didn't let the final score dampen their last chance to skate for the home crowd.
"It was Kaitlyn 'Tricky Kitten' Mitchell's 21st birthday and it was Danielle 'Ragin' Reg' Arispe's birthday so we had a lot of fun," JennZilla said. "There was a lot of dancing and crowd pleasing."
The North Coast Roller Derby raised and donated $500 for the Save the Fairgrounds Campaign at the bout.