Preseason high school volleyball capsules for Class A, Class B and Omaha-area teams compiled by The World-Herald's Mike Patterson.

Note: Not all teams returned preseason sheets.

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Bellevue East

Coach: Courtney Smeby, 7th year. 2018: 10-23.

Returning starters – Seniors: Nicole Binder, 5-9, OH/RS; Ashley Stenger, 5-9, OH/DS; Keiley Hein, 5-11, MH. Juniors: Katie Mendick, 5-10, OH. Sophomores: Liv Reitsma, 5-7, S.

Outlook: The return of five starters fuels optimism for the Chieftains.

Bellevue West

Coach: Christina Krajicek, 6th year. 2018: 21-17.

Returning starters – Seniors: Brittney Sheibal, 5-2, L/DS; Makena Sobczyk, 5-8, OH; Mady Akerson, 5-4, L/DS; Jacki Apel, 6-0, M; Maddy Madsen, 6-2, RS. Sophomores: Kenzie Keith, 6-0, OH/RS; Jayna Hope, 5-8, S; Kealy Kiviniemi, 6-0, M/RS.

Outlook: Thunderbirds return a lot of experience and could improve on last year’s 21-win season.


Coach: Jeri Otten, 4th year. 2018: 15-17.

Returning starters – Seniors: Kylie Wisehart, 5-4, L; Ava Newman, 5-7, OH/M. Juniors: Jaleigh Adams-Tuls, 6-0, RS/M.

Outlook: The Discoverers, who move up to Class A, return three starters; one won’t be senior Jaidyn Garrett, sidelined with a knee injury.


Coach: Abby da Silva, 4th year. 2018: 21-16, Class B state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Emma Crouch, 5-11, M; Claire Burford, 5-7, DS/L. Juniors: Abby Wolfe, 6-0, OH; Addie Thomas, 5-8, OH; Becca Vala, 5-5, DS/L. Sophomores: Syd Raszler, 5-10, M.

Outlook: A jump to Class A will challenge the Antlers, who must replace graduated setter Megan Raszler (891 assists).

Elkhorn South

Coach: Chelsea Potter, 1st year. 2018: 31-9, Class B state runner-up.

Returning starters – Seniors: Ibi Green, 5-11, OH. Juniors: Rylee Gray, 6-4, M. Sophomores: Madi Woodin, 5-5, S; Kylie Weeks, 5-7, OH; Estella Zatechka, 5-8, L.

Outlook: The Storm move to Class A after finishing second behind Skutt last year in Class B; the return of Nebraska recruit Gray and talented sophomores Woodin and Weeks are major positives.


Coach: Cindy Kostek, 3rd year. 2018: 14-20.

Returning starters – Juniors: Hannah Wilson, 5-10, S. Sophomores: Grace Williams, 6-0, M; Elise Estudillo, 5-9, OH/DS.

Outlook: Tigers are young but hope to improve on last year’s 14-win campaign.

Grand Island

Coach: Bill Root, 20th year. 2018: 6-20.

Returning starters – Seniors: Emma Hilderbrand, 5-10, M; Grace Johnson, 5-9, M. Tori Hale, 5-6, S. Juniors: Lilly Reed, 6-0, RS.

Outlook: Islanders hope to make noise in the Heartland Athletic Conference for longtime coach Root.


Coach: Mike Brandon, 19th year. 2018: 23-8, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Lydia Yost, 5-9, OH; Kenedy Schacher, 5-4, L. Juniors: Emma Prentice, 6-0, OH/M. Sophomores: Skylar McCune, 5-7, OH.

Outlook: Dragons have some solid returners but life will get tougher as a first-year member of the Metro Conference.


Coach: Jessica Day, 5th year. 2018: 22-14.

Returning starters – Seniors: Adison Wood, 5-7, L; Ashley Kinglein, 5-6, DS. Juniors: Aspen Rusher, 5-10, OH; Lily Novacek, 6-0, M.

Outlook: Bearcats must replace four starters from last year’s squad that came within one win of the state tourney; Rusher had 230 kills last year.

Lincoln High

Coach: Stephanie Wilcox, 2nd year. 2018: 12-23.

Returning starters – Seniors: Bre Golden, 6-2, M; Taylor Haywood, 5-6, S; Parker Johnson, 5-9, OH. Juniors: Gillian Koh, 5-2, L/DS; Kyndal Hudson, 5-10, OH/RS. Sophomores: Tyrah Woods, 5-10, M.

Outlook: The return of several starters has the Links thinking optimistically.

Lincoln North Star

Coach: Jessy Denker, 5th year. 2018: 7-22.

Returning starters – Seniors: Shelby Cain, 5-7, OH; Miranda Roth, 5-10, RS. Juniors: Saylor Schaefer, 5-10, M. Sophomores: Bekka Allick, 6-3, M; Hannah Allick, 5-8, S; Kinsley Ragland, 5-6, OH.

Outlook: Navigators seek to improve off last year with the help of Bekka Allick, a Nebraska recruit; her sister Hannah is the setter.

Lincoln Northeast

Coach: Craig Songster, 11th year. 2018: 7-28.

Returning starters – Seniors: Logan Gronewold, 5-10, M. Juniors: Maddie Bahm, 5-7, OH.

Outlook: The Rockets return two of their big hitters in Bahm (255 kills) and Gronewold (215 kills).

Lincoln Pius X

Coach: Katie Wenz, 5th year. 2018: 36-3, state runner-up.

Returning starters – Seniors: Lauren Taubenheim, 6-2, OH. Juniors: Alexis Markowski, 6-3, M.

Outlook: Thunderbolts graduated six from last year’s powerhouse; replacing setter Grace Gokie will be job one.

Lincoln Southwest

Coach: Mark Novotny, 4th year. 2018: 19-16.

Returning starters – Seniors: Corinne, Boyd, 6-1, M; Kate Hunzeker, 5-9, RS. Juniors: Carly Coen, 5-10, M; Lauren Dirks, 5-6, S; Liz Tomlin, 5-9, OH; Holly Ochsner, 5-2, L. Sophomores: Shaylee Myers, 6-0, OH.

Outlook: The young Silver Hawks move on following the graduation of do-everything player Jaden Ferguson.

Millard North

Coach: Lindsay Peterson, 8th year. 2018: 38-2, state champion.

Returning starters – Seniors: McKenna Ruch, 6-1, OH/M; Izzy Lukens, 5-11, S; Eve Fountain, 5-9, OH; Molly Plahn, 6-0, M/RS.

Outlook: The defending state champs graduated four starters but return plenty of firepower, starting with All-Nebraska first-teamers Ruch and Lukens.

Millard South

Coach: Jaisa Poppleton, 5th year. 2018: 25-13, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Paige Fixemer, 6-2, M; Maggie Madej, 6-0, RS; Sam Steele, 5-8, L. Sophomores: Maddie MacTaggart, 5-10, OH; Makayla Fleming, 5-10, S; Laci Abendroth, 6-0, M.

Outlook: The Patriots return their top hitter (Fixemer), setter (Fleming) and defensive specialist (Steele); should be a factor in the Metro Conference.

Millard West

Coach: Joe Wessel, 3rd year. 2018: 21-10, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Gabi Nordaker, 5-10, M. Juniors: Elise Gilroy, 5-10, OH. Sophomores: Sadie Millard, 5-8, M.

Outlook: The Wildcats graduated five starters from last year including All-Nebraska libero Jaiden Centeno, setter Breanna Green and big hitter Hailey Petersen; a major task to repeat last year’s success.

Omaha Bryan

Coach: Nate Novotny, 3rd year. 2018: 7-26.

Returning starters – Seniors: Olivia Rickley, 5-6, RS; Nyajuol Lew, 5-8, M. Juniors: Kaitlyn Schwenn, 5-8, M; Maddy Gates, 5-4, OH; Bri Zubia, 5-5, OH; Jordan Wattles, 5-5, S.

Outlook: The Bears are optimistic with the return of several starters.

Omaha Burke

Coach: Curt Kunz, 4th year. 2018: 15-19.

Returning starters – Seniors: Ashtynne Frahm, 6-1, M; Sarah Grimmond, 5-5, L; Sakura Shiroyama, 5-4, L/DS. Juniors: Danielle Hall, 6-1, RS/OH; Amanda Wolf, 5-8, OH. Sophomores: Kaley Cubrich, 5-7, S.

Outlook: The Bulldogs are young but have some experience; Burke won 10 of 12 during one stretch last season.

Omaha Central

Coach: Angela Thorn, 4th year. 2018: 19-13.

Returning starters – Seniors: Peyton Preston, 5-8, OH; Delaney Demman, 5-6, S; Rayann Hawkins, 5-8, M; Anna Stavneak, 5-9, M. Juniors: Paige Terry, 5-5, L; Anna Festersen, 5-6, OH.

Outlook: Eagles hope to build on the positives of last year’s 19-win season.

Omaha Marian

Coach: Amy McLeay, 5th year. 2018: 27-12, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Meredith Mueller, 6-0, RS; Sarah Montague, 5-7, S; Bri Eilderts, 5-10, M. Juniors: MC Daubendiek, 6-2, RS; Sophi Steffes, 5-11, M; Ellie Miller, 5-7, L.

Outlook: Crusaders graduated six seniors, including All-Nebraska hitter Emily Bressman; top returning hitters are Daubendiek (159 kills) and Mueller (131 kills).

Omaha North

Coach: Marquita Bowden, 1st year. 2018: 6-25.

Returning starters – Seniors: Johnna Parker, RS; Aaliyah Green, M; Kiara Simonsen, S.

Outlook: The Vikings seek to make improvement under new coach Bowden.

Omaha Northwest

Coach: Shannon Walker, 11th year. 2018: 20-12.

Returning starters – Seniors: Nyandech Thichuong, 5-9, M. Juniors: Morgan Gardner, 5-4, S; Morgan Wiseman, 5-5, L. Sophomores: Taniya Golden, 6-0, OH.

Outlook: Four returning starters and success during the summer club season are reasons for optimism; Golden had 325 kills as a freshman.

Omaha South

Coach: Amy Wagner, 2nd year. 2018: 1-29.

Returning starters – Bella Madsen, OH; Jocelyn Vazquez, S; Adia Blackman, OH/M.

Outlook: Young Packers should improve as the season progresses.

Omaha Westside

Coach: Korrine Bowers, 2nd year. 2018: 7-29.

Returning starters – Seniors: McKenna Nemecek, 5-4, S; Marissa Koch, 5-6, L; Isidora Nahayo, 5-11, M. Juniors: Natalie Bratetic, 5-3, DS; Rachel Poppert, 5-10, S/RS. Sophomores: Madilyn Siebler, 5-10, OH.

Outlook: Warriors are looking to make major strides in coach Bowers’ second season.

Papillion-La Vista

Coach: John Svehla, 1st year. 2018: 25-14, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Chloe Paschal, 5-7, OH; Brooklyn Schram, 5-11, S; Erica Broin, 5-11, M. Juniors: Norah Sis, 6-1, OH; Logan Jeffus, 5-11, M; Morgan Hickey, 5-10, RS. Sophomores: Sam Riggs, 5-5, L.

Outlook: Monarchs return much of their firepower from last year’s state tourney team for first-year head coach Svehla.



Coach: Jessica Kaiser, 3rd year. 2018: 29-6, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Jordan Hopp, 6-3, M; Khloe Felker, 5-7, L.

Outlook: The Bulldogs graduated five from last year’s state tourney squad; Hopp has started since her freshman year.


Coach: Lois Hixson, 14th year. 2018: 13-19.

Returning starters – Seniors: Paxtyn Dummer, 5-6, OH; Lauren Feely, 5-8, M/RS; Gracee Pohlman, 5-7, M/OH; Makayla Eberly, 5-5, RS. Juniors: Cassidy Knust, 5-4, L/S; Raina Cattau, 5-5, S; Jaylee Schuster, M/RS.

Outlook: A rare losing record last season for the state tourney regular Huskies; the return of several starters should make for a successful 2019 season.


Coach: Paul Wright, 5th year. 2018: 16-14.

Returning starters – Juniors: Riley Hartman, 5-10, OH. Sophomores: Ava Fuller, 5-2, DS.

Outlook: Badgers graduated much of their firepower from last year’s squad that came within one win of state; young players will need to step up in a hurry.

Grand Island Northwest

Coach: Lindsey Harders, 2nd year. 2018: 21-15, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Whitney Brown, 5-6, S; Lauren Hauser, 5-10, M. Sophomores: Macey Bosard, 5-10, OH.

Outlook: The Vikings kept their state tourney streak alive – 18 years in a row – last season for first-year coach Harders; the return of setter Brown is a positive.


Coach: Dave Hepner, 13th year. 2018: 25-7.

Returning starters – Seniors: Brooke Aspen, OH; Haley Schram, M; Emma Markle, M. Juniors: Dacey Sealey, S.

Outlook: Replacing big hitter Cecilia Beahm won’t be easy; Tigers have the motivation of coming within one win of state last season, losing in the district final.


Coach: Ashley Axmann, 3rd year.

Returning starters – Seniors: Anna Grace Weed, 5-10, OH. Juniors: Taylor Wiser, 5-5, DS/S. Sophomores: Brooklyn Barney, 5-10, M; McKenna Ortgiesen, 5-10, M; Megan Belgium, 5-9, OH.

Outlook: Young players will need to show the way for the Dusters.


Coach: Audrey Feeney, 2nd year. 2018: 14-19.

Returning starters – Juniors: Tiara Matson, 5-7, OH. Sophomores: Peyton Doucet, 5-6, OH/L; Addison Randel, 5-10, RS.

Outlook: The Bison have no seniors but 11 juniors; that could bode well not only for this year but 2020 as well.


Coach: Christina Boesiger, 19th year. 2018: 24-12. State qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Maddie Clauss, 5-2, DS; Paige Wilkinson, 5-9, OH. Juniors: Molly Ramsey, 5-4, L; Kalli Kroeker, 6-0, M; Brianna Stai, 6-0, RS. Sophomores: Maisie Boesiger, 5-6, S; Ella Waters, 6-2, OH.

Outlook: Titans return four of their top six hitters and Boesiger, the coach’s daughter who did just fine as a freshman setter last season; projected top four in Class B.

Omaha Duchesne

Coach: Andrew Wehrli, 5th year. 2018: 32-7, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Mayah Delgado, 6-0, RS; Caroline Ortman, 5-10, M; Allison Brown, 5-11, M; Mary Pat Taylor, 5-9, OH. Juniors: Sofia Bressani, 5-7, L.

Outlook: Cardinals once again loom as Skutt’s major challenger for Class B supremacy; replacing graduated setter Emma Worthington will be a big key.

Omaha Gross

Coach: Yvonne Carson, 1st year. 2018: 13-17.

Returning starters – Seniors: Julia Miller, 5-7, S; Maddie Thompson, 5-9, OH/RS; Kenzie Horihan, 5-6, L/DS; Erin Ruane, 5-10, M; Samantha Koch, 5-5, L/DS. Juniors: Emily Thompson, 5-10, OH/RS.

Outlook: Cougars have to replace only two starters for veteran coach Carson, who returns to the Gross sideline.

Omaha Skutt

Coach: Renee Saunders, 9th year. 2018: 30-7, state champion.

Returning starters – Seniors: Megan Skovsende, 5-11, OH; Lauren Diederich, 5-4, DS. Juniors: Lindsay Krause, 6-3, OH; Allie Gray, 5-11, S; Shayla McCormick, 5-11, OH; Cameron Cartwright, 5-8, RS/M.

Outlook: SkyHawks gunning for their fifth straight Class B crown and will be favored to accomplish that goal; Krause, a Nebraska recruit and member of the Team USA Youth National team, will miss the early portion of the schedule.


Coach: Shae Speth, 2nd year. 2018: 16-14.

Returning starters – Seniors: Anna Koehler, 5-7, OH; Rachel MacDonald, 5-7, S; Halle Johnson, 5-7, RS. Juniors: Kyra Gray, 5-3, L.

Outlook: The Trojans graduated only three seniors but will be without starter Blair Beecham, who had surgery for a torn labrum and will be out this season.


Coach: Ashley Classen, 1st year. 2018: 11-16.

Returning starters – Seniors: Chloe Sabatka, OH/M; Taylor Caba, S/RS. Juniors: Savanna Berger, M; Rylee Hellbusch, S/OH.

Outlook: Blue Devils hope to improve under the guidance of new coach Classen.


Coach: Tom Pallas, 18th year. 2018: 29-7.

Returning starters – Seniors: Addison Smith, 5-9, RS. Juniors: Abbey Ringler, 5-11, M; Jaci Opfer, 5-9, S; Anna Hughes, 5-10, M; Grace Vyhnalek, 5-7, OH.

Outlook: Bluejays saw last season end on a sour note, losing in the district final to Elkhorn; young team with just one senior will try to make amends.


Coach: Marcus Ehrke, 1st year. 2018: 26-9.

Returning starters – Seniors: Mattie Johnson, 6-0, OH; Sarah Wamsley, 5-3, L; Kendra Nesbitt, 5-6, RS. Logan Holly, 5-7, OH; Karly Sylvester, 6-0, M.

Outlook: The Raiders, who narrowly missed reaching state last year, return five starters for new coach Ehrke – previously at Alma.


Coach: Terri Neujahr, 13th year. 2018: 26-7, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Annika Evans, 5-9, S; Mollie Grosshans, 5-10, RS; Kelsey Perrotto, 5-9, OH. Juniors: Whitney Lauenstein, 6-2, OH.

Outlook: Vikings return top three hitters and setter from last year’s state tourney squad; Neujahr always gets the most out of her players.


Coach: Chris Ericson, 5th year. 2018: 7-23.

Returning starters – Seniors: Natalia Dick, RS. Juniors: Erin Case, M; Maddie Portwine, M; Natalie Rockenbach, S. Sophomores: Brynn Hirschfeld, S; Masa Scheierman, OH.

Outlook: The Dukes return 10 from last season and should show improvement.

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Coach: Katarina Nelson, 1st year. 2018: 2-25.

Returning starters – Seniors: Lauren Clapper, 5-7, S/OH; Milee Young, 6-2, M/RS; Maddie Brennfoerder, 5-8, OH/L. Sophomores: Kailynn Gubbels, 5-9, M/OH; Chase Andersen, 5-10, M; Kate Miller, 5-9, OH; Janessa Wakefield, 5-7, S.

Outlook: An outstanding sophomore class helps fuel optimism for the Eagles, under the guidance of new coach – and Arlington alum – Nelson.

Douglas County West

Coach: Bob Wald, 26th year. 2018: 23-8.

Returning starters – Seniors: Chloe Foral, 6-0, M; Leah Bevington, 5-7, OH; Graci Rittenhouse, 5-7, OH; Mazzy Johnson, 5-5, RS.

Outlook: The Falcons are coming off a fine 23-win season for longtime coach Wald; the return of four, four-year starters will provide the foundation of this year’s team.


Coach: Nichole Justesen, 4th year. 2018: 16-14.

Returning starters – Seniors: Lauren Justesen, 5-7, OH; Chloe Hosier, 5-4, S; Katelyn Vogler, 5-5, DS.

Outlook: The Knights return three senior starters, so that’s a start; 6-5 sophomore middle Brenna Schmidt drawing Division I interest.


Coach: Megan Barnes, 1st year. 2018: 16-15.

Returning starters – Seniors: Jade Biesterfeld, 5-10, OH; Faye Jacobsen, 5-11, M; Cassidy Niemoth, 5-9, OH; Skyler Pollock, 5-4, L; Maddy Nolte, 5-9, M/RS. Juniors: McKenzie Norris, 5-6, RS/S.

Outlook: The Lions return six returning varsity players and could make noise in Class C-1 this season; Jacobsen has 519 career kills.


Coach: Keshia Havelka, 9th year. 2018: 15-12.

Returning starters – Seniors: Delaney Patocka, 5-7, OH; Abby Miller, 5-8, OH. Juniors: Rebecca Halbmaier, 5-9, M. Sophomores: Brianna Lemke, 6-0, M; Emily Quinn, 5-5, S.

Outlook: The Raiders return five starters but the jump from D-2 to C-2 will be a challenge.

Omaha Brownell Talbot

Coach: Angela Vetter, 3rd year. 2018: 18-8.

Returning starters – Seniors: Savannah Brym, 5-11, OH; Grace Thaden, 5-10, M. Juniors: Lily Teunissen, 5-10, OH.

Outlook: The return of the three returning starters and key contributors is a big plus; young players will need to step up.

Omaha Concordia

Coach: Rick Hughes, 1st year. 2018: 15-18.

Returning starters – Seniors: Emily Otten, 5-8, OH; Abby Kulus, 5-5, L/DS; Allie Wilson, 5-8, OH/DS. Sophomores: Lily Meyer, 6-0, S/DS.

Outlook: Mustangs hope to bounce back from a rare losing season under the guidance of first-year coach Hughes, former Omaha Burke and Fremont head coach and Millard North assistant.

Omaha Roncalli

Coach: Mark Kirlin, 1st year. 2018: 19-12.

Returning starters – Seniors: Callie Easley, L; Maddie Murcek, L. Juniors: Claire Wilson, M; Ella Matthies, OH.

Outlook: The loss of Murcek (1,295 career digs) to a knee injury is a big blow; young Crimson Pride squad will carry on under new coach Kirlin.


Coach: Trish Larson, 12th year. 2018: 35-1, Class C-1 state champion.

Returning starters – Seniors: Lillie Mann, 5-11, M; Kendal Brigham, 5-5, L. Juniors: Elle Glock, 6-0, S; Kelsie Sears, 6-0, M; Lauren Kavan, 5-7, RS. Sophomores: Mya Larson, 5-11, OH.

Outlook: The Warriors will be favored to capture their third straight Class C-1 crown; Larson had 438 kills last season, Glock had 1,133 assists.

Wahoo Neumann

Coach: Brandi Sladky, 3rd year. 2018: 30-5, Class C-1 state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Emily Coufal, 5-10, OH; Lindsey Thiele, 6-0, M. Sophomores: Kali Jurgensmeier, 6-2, OH; Lauren Thiele, 5-9, RS.

Outlook: The longtime Class C-1 Cavaliers drop to C-2 this season; Neumann returns four starters but must replace setter Alyssa Rezac (902 assists) and big hitter Kelsie Cada (379 kills).

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Mike covers high school sports, primarily volleyball in the fall, girls basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring and summer. He also reports on horse racing for The World-Herald. Follow him on Twitter @MPattersonOWH. Phone: 402-444-1350.

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