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Happy Valley Dolls win Ohio Valley River Riot Tournament

by on December 07, 2017 2:18 PM

On Nov. 18 and 19, the Happy Valley Dolls of State College Area Roller Derby participated in the Ohio Valley River Riot Tournament. 

The tournament, hosted by the Ohio Valley Roller Girls, consisted of eight teams from all over North America. Each participating team is part of the International Roller Derby Association and the tournament was seeded by ranking.


The Dolls entered as the third seed of the group and were excited to participate in their first tournament.
Bout 1 for the Dolls matched them up against hosts Ohio Valley.

With Ohio Valley struggling coming into the tournament, Happy Valley had the added pressure of needing to maintain their ranking. In order to defend their place, the Dolls would need to score 76 percent of the total points.

Stepping up to the pressure, Happy Valley dominated in the first bout by the score of 339-63. After putting up 81.5 percent of the points, the Dolls not only defended their ranking but breezed into the second round. Dolls’ blocker Em Munition and jammer Danni Savage earned MVP awards for their performances in the first round.

The first upset of the tournament happened on Day 1 between the Renegade Derby Dames and the Morgantown Roller Vixens. Happy Valley was slated to play the winner in Round 2 and expected to find the Dames of Canada waiting for them. The Vixens came out with the 269-173 upset to take on the Dolls.

Last year, Morgantown and Happy Valley collided for the first time. At that time, the Vixens were in the process of becoming a recognized roller derby team. The Dolls had beat the Vixens in their first meeting and expected the second to go similarly.

At halftime, tied at 105 each, the Dolls found themselves in an unsettling situation. Both teams were being given penalties at an alarming rate and it prevented them from getting any headway.

More than 100 penalties were earned between the two teams by the end of the bout, a nearly unheard of total. Through great teamwork and persistence, Happy Valley pulled away in the second half to win 212-158. Em Munition won her second MVP of the tournament in round two while Dolls’ jammer Letter Havoc, who earned MVP in the two teams’ first matchup, won her first of the tournament.


The championship bout set the No. 3 Happy Valley Dolls against the No. 1 seed Rockin’ City Rollergirls from Texas. From the start, both teams’ blockers made it clear that they would be a big factor in the championship.

It was such a defensive stalemate at one point in the bout that a jam went the full two minutes with neither jammer escaping the pack.

Such a professional level of play from both teams kept the championship very close.

Down to the wire, the Dolls took the lead and just had to hold on for the final minute. In the final moments, jammer Danni Savage broke away from the pack while the Dolls’ blockers held strong until time expired. Happy Valley won the tournament over Rockin’ City 148-134. Danni Savage won jammer MVP and Em Munition won her third MVP of the tournament.

Though the trophy technically belongs to SCAR Derby’s A-team, Tina Letter, also known as Letter Havoc, said it belongs to everyone in the league.

“This trophy we brought back really isn’t just for the Dolls, it’s for the whole league,” said Letter. “We really see the trophy and the whole championship as a win for the whole league. It’s kind of a great way to see how all of our hard work we’ve put in all year long came to an end point.” 


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