"I think the courts are better here. They're safer," said Bluefield coach Cindy Stonestreet. "I loved Coonskin. It's a beautiful park."
Sporting red-framed sunglasses to match her uniform, Courtney Mobley carried the honor of the diminished Poca team.
She did so capably, reaching the semifinals at the No. 2 position. She struggled to a 9-7 victory over Madonna's Ali Welch, then put away Bluefield's Alex Lewis 8-1. She will play Olivia Haught of Ritchie County today.
The Dots were caught in the middle of a seeding controversy in the Class AA-A Region 3 tournament at Parkersburg. It was determined that Charleston Catholic's girls were not eligible for seeding and would be placed in the draw at random.
That ruling may have cost Poca a runner-up trophy. No. 1 singles player Molly Ballard, undefeated in the spring, had to play Catholic's Claire Hamilton in the quarterfinal, with the winner going to the state tournament and the loser going home. Ballard lost by a very respectable 8-5, winning more games than Hamilton may give up this week.
The No. 1 doubles team of Ballard and Mobley suffered a similar fate, running into Hamilton and Danielle Sadd early and losing 8-3.
"She should be here, she should be playing," Mobley said of Ballard. "And she's beat all of these other girls 8-0, 8-1. And my singles match, I played second singles [against] Charleston Catholic, and I only lost 8-6. I mean, who else could get that many points on them?
"You've just got to keep going, you've got to show all these people that you're here to win."
Cabell Midland's No. 1 girls player, Gabrielle Beam, had to default. She was taking her AP exams and could not get to Kanawha City on time for the morning's first batch of matches.
Huntington's Campbell Neighborgall had the same situation but was able to hurry down I-64 to get to the site. It helped that he was the Highlanders' No. 2 player and had a first-round bye.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.