From the Ithaca Journal
May 8, 2013

Ithaca League of Women Rollers to Begin Season

Ithaca Roller Derby Season Opener

The Ithaca League of Women Rollers scrimmages Tuesday in preparation for Saturday's season opener, which pits Ithaca's SufferJets against the RocStars, from Rochester. D.W. NUTT / STAFF PHOTO

ITHACA — Ladies, lace up those skates.

The Ithaca League of Women Rollers will kick off its sixth season Saturday when its flagship team, the Ithaca SufferJets, takes on longstanding rivals the RocStars, from Rochester, at Cass Park Rink.

“They had their first season in 2008, just as we did, and we beat them that year,” said Ithaca roller Kitty Gifford, or Chairman Meow, as she’s known on the track. “We’ve had three games since. Our last game was in the fall at the Empire Skate Showdown, and it was a two-point loss. We have a good matchup. They’re close games.”

The SufferJets’ 2008 debut came after the league spinned off from the Assault City Roller Derby League, of Syracuse. As membership increased, the league added a second team, the BlueStockings, in 2010. A junior league division, the Ithaca League of Junior Rollers, was rolled out later that year.

“Everybody thinks that we punch people or kick people or fight or that it’s fake or something. But it’s not. It’s completely real,” said Regina DeMauro-Axel, also known as Valerie Valkyrie. “Everything we do is based on athleticism and performance. We practice really hard. And there’s rules. We’re not just getting on the track and kicking each other in the face.”

Saturday’s bout begins at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6. General-admission tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door for adults, $5 for children 13 and older. Children under 13 are free.