University delivered the Redskins a major setback Thursday, with Ally and Alyssa Rees downing McKnight and Yao 8-6 in the first round. With Virginia-committed junior Cassie Mercer making up half the Highlanders' doubles team, the Redskins probably lose four points at that position.
Mercer gets Parkersburg's Cassandra Powell in one No. 1 singles semifinal, with McKnight playing Morgantown's Stephanie Arnold in the other.
Class AA-A boys
Williamstown posted five points to match Charleston Catholic, but there is a catch: The Yellowjackets are not qualified in No. 3 and No. 4 singles, plus No. 3 doubles. A runner-up finish is much more reasonable.
Bluefield and Madonna have four points and Bridgeport has three in that derby.
In No. 1 singles, Williamstown's Luke Flanagan has a tough battle with Max Meade of St. Joseph. Meade suffered the day's biggest upset, losing in No. 1 doubles to Wheeling Central 8-5.
In the other No. 1 semifinal, Nick Conforti of Madonna has the assignment of Catholic's Mark Cassis. Cassis "bageled" two opponents Thursday, leading a day in which the Irish boys didn't give up a game in four matches.
Class AA-A girls
Bridgeport, Ravenswood and Ritchie County had strong showings Thursday, scoring four points apiece. All three are generally opposite Charleston Catholic in the brackets in which they are alive - but they're not alive in all of them by any stretch.
Catholic picked up its five points, giving up seven points in four matches. (Oh, will the boys team let the girls hear about that.) Both Irish teams could clinch state titles today, the eighth in a row for the boys and sixth for the girls.
Claire Hamilton takes on Wheeling Central's Joanna Capito in one No. 1 semifinal, with Veronica Mueller of Ritchie County facing Alexis Alastanos of Bridgeport in the other. Capito had one of the tougher matches of the day, beating back Grafton's Hailey Rogers 9-7.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.