NEW CHICAGO | Whenever Shannon Doyle gets a big hit, Wheeler coach Alisha Polite subconsciously turns around, shrugs her shoulders, and smiles.
She did plenty of that Thursday night during Wheeler's opening-round 25-11, 25-14, 25-12 sweep over Lake Station in the Class 2A River Forest Sectional.
In the nigthcap, Bishop Noll rolled over Bowman 25-6, 25-15, 25-5.
In the opener, Doyle had 12 kills, including two emphatic unassisted ones in the third game.
"Shannon is a lot like me when I was in high school, but much more athletic," said Polite, whose team will meet the Warriors in Saturday's semifinals. "A kid like her just loves the game."
Wheeler (29-5), the prohibitive sectional favorite, made quick work of the Eagles in the first game, scoring 10 of the game's first 13 points on its way to a decisive first-set victory.
The second set was much tighter, as Lake Station (9-15) got to within 19-14, but the Bearcats then scored the last six thanks to three unforced errors by the Eagles.
The third set was dominated by the Bearcats, as they darted to a 13-3 lead and never looked back, grabbing five of the last seven points, including three kills from freshman Jordynn Parks.
Freshman setter Belle Bravo had 15 assists, filling in for starting setter Kaley Plothow, who was out due to illness.
"We have some younger kids who haven't played in a sectional and when we were half way into the season, we told our freshmen that they weren't freshmen anymore," Polite said. "We did a great job adjusting to a different lineup."
Bishop Noll (20-14) used two 7-0 runs at the start of both the first and second sets to catapult themselves to the semifinal.
The Warriors also made a run of six straight in the first game.
The third and final game saw Bowman give up 14 of the first 16 points and Noll then scored 11 of the last 14 for the easy victory.