PLEASANTON — The Pleasanton girls know their way around Lincoln’s state tournament venues.
They would just like to see the championship venue.
The Bulldogs finished fourth at the state basketball tournament in 2018, and third in 2019. And, they’ve followed the same path in volleyball with many of the same principal players.
In total, the Pleasanton girls have compiled a 136-18 record in volleyball and basketball since the start of the 2017 school year.
With six of the top seven scorers back from last year’s 27-2 basketball team, the Bulldogs hope to break through the semifinal ceiling.
The biggest loss form last year’s team is center Megan Fisher, the team’s second-leading scorer and rebounder, but her little sister, Chelsea might be ready to take her place, although second-year head coach Jordan Arensdorf has many options with a handful of versatile players.
Junior Isabelle Paitz was the team’s leading scorer as a sophomore, averaging 11.6 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.
Junior Kaci Pierce led the team in rebounding, averaging 6.1 per game. She also was the third-leading scorer along Katy Lindner. Both averaged seven points per game.
Cadee Nichols, now a senior, has been the team’s outside shooting threat. She made a team-leading 47 3-pointers last year and averaged 6.7 points per game.
Paige Weisdorfer and Natalie Siegel also saw extensive playing time last year.
The Pleasanton boys also have some recent success to build on.
After reaching the state football championship game for the first time in school history, basketball coach Jeff Vetter hopes that euphoria hangs around for awhile.
The Bulldogs return four starters and three other lettermen from last year’s 13-11 team — Pleasanton’s first winning season since 2011-12.
“We have a solid core of returnign players who should contend in all games,” Vetter said.
The returning starters, all seniors, are 5-7 guard Seth Eckel, 5-10 guard Jakson Keaschall, 6-2 guard/forward Brady Klein and 6-3 forward/center Kessler Dixon.
The other returning lettermen are 6-4 senior T.J. Baillie, 6-4 junior Tyce Westland and 5-10 senior Conner Hand.
Pleasanton opens the season Thursday at Axtell.
The Pleasanton wrestling team will be “young (with) not a lot of mat time,” according to coach Mike Herman, who is in his fourth year at the head of the Bulldogs and 17th year as a head wrestling coach in the Nebraska high school ranks.
The Bulldogs lost the best wrestler in school history, four-time state champ Tyler Pawloski. His younger brother, Chase, is a sophomore and the only returning state qualifier on the team.
Other veterans on the squad are senior Ryley Hadwiger, sophomore Mason Lammers, junior Austen Cronin, junior Cinch Heikel 11th, sophomore JySeann Pugh and sophomore Grant Hawkins.
The Bulldogs kick off their season Dec. 14 at the Osceola Invitational.