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Root River Rollers

The Root River Rollers, pictured here in Beloit in December, are scheduled to have their first match in Racine since 2015 on Saturday night at Memorial Hall. 

RACINE — The Root River Rollers will be back in action with their first local match since 2015, Bruisapalooza, set for tonight at Memorial Hall.

The Racine-based roller derby team was on hiatus for a couple of years and has since been working to build up its membership.

Liesel Lalor, whose derby name is Spin Diesel, joined the team in September.

She said it means a lot to the Rollers to be having their first local bout in four years.

“We’re trying to bring roller derby back to Racine,” she said.

The bout, against Medcity Mafia, based in Rochester, Minn., is set to begin at 7 tonight at Memorial Hall, 72 7th St. Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets are $13 for adults and $10 for children and seniors. Concessions will be available for purchase.

Lalor said there has been a lot of excitement from the community about the return of local roller derby, including support from local businesses.

“What I love about roller derby is you get to meet every different kind of person, from moms to grandmas to students to nurses,” Lalor said.

She added that being involved in roller derby has helped boost her confidence.

The Root River Rollers have 18 active members and six more on leaves of absence.

Lalor added that the sport is “great for women’s empowerment,” and is the only place where people can see women playing a full-contact sport.

Although roller derby has a reputation for being a rough sport, Lalor said, players are not allowed to actually fight and the bouts are “family friendly.”

She believes the sport will appeal to all ages, as the older crowd might have fond memories of roller derby, while for younger people it’s something new and different.

“It’s about having fun and being part of a team,” Lalor said.

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Caitlin Sievers covers cops, crime and the west-end communities. She's a lover of cats, dance and Harry Potter. Before moving to the Racine area she worked at small papers in Indiana, Illinois and Nebraska.

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