WINAMAC | After rallying through the first two sets, only to fall behind again, Wheeler simply couldn't muster it for a third.
The Bearcats were swept out of the volleyball postseason with a 25-23, 25-21, 25-8 loss to Winamac on Tuesday night.
"Winamac forced us to make adjustments in the first game, but we fell short in the simple stuff," Bearcat coach Shyoh Karshner said.
After falling behind 19-8 in the first set, the Bearcats (20-16) went on a 15-4 tear to tie game at 23-23 before unforced errors ended the rally.
In a similar situation in the second game, Wheeler took an 18-10 lead thanks to a pair of Shannon Doyle kills, but Winamac (32-4) responded with its own 15-3 run to win the second game.
"I knew we were going to have to play a power game," Warrior coach Cathy DeFries said. "The second game is crucial; the tide could change."
Unable to recover for a third set, the Bearcats dropped the one-game regional as Winamac advances to play in the Bremen Semistate.
"In the third game, we let our emotions get to us," Karshner said. "Nerves got the best of them tonight."
Doyle led the Bearcats with 11 kills and seven assists while sophomore Haley Plothow added seven more kills and 25 digs.
"(The game tonight) showed what the girls can do and are capable of," Karshner said. "(Winamac) is a really strong team."