Nuss ready to wrap up brilliant LSU career this week
When you are in a sport dominated by tall players, the 5-6 woman is not supposed to be the standout.
Except if your name is Kristen Nuss.
The fifth-year senior is set to wrap up one of the most prolific careers not only in the history of beach volleyball, but in the history of LSU athletics this week when she leads the Sandy Tigs into the NCAA Beach Volleyball Championships May 7-9 in Gulf Shores.
The winningest player in the history of the sport, Nuss has compiled an insane 135-21 career mark in the sand in her five years at LSU (86.5 winning percentage) and teaming with senior Taryn Kloth is a perfect 32-0 during the 2021 beach season.
“It’s a cool recognition for sure,” Nuss said of reaching the all-time wins mark. “Coming to LSU five years ago I didn’t think achieving something like this would ever happen. I would have laughed at people that told me that.”
The Gatorade Louisiana (indoor) Volleyball Player of the Year coming out of powerhouse Mount Carmel Academy in 2015, Nuss came to Baton Rouge with plenty of accolades already on the mantle and didn’t disappoint from the start on the collegiate level.
“For her to get to this point, it’s been a career of consistency,” LSU head coach Russell Brock said. “There hasn’t been a moment where she has taken time off or she has taken plays off. To be called the greatest in this sport you can’t take breaks; that’s Kristen Nuss. She has an unmatched work ethic.
“If you walked into that gym at Mount Carmel when she was on the court in high school, you would probably be impressed with some of the things she can do, but you couldn’t know the depth of her greatness by just watching her play in that brown and cream uniform with her baggy shorts in a volleyball match in New Orleans. We are grateful and incredibly blessed to have her in this program.”
Seeing time on court one as a true freshman with Claire Coppola, Nuss went 27-7 as a freshman and a year later went 31-8 again with Coppola to become the first ever LSU duo to be named AVCA All-Americans.
“Honestly there is nobody more deserving for the recognition and accolades than Kristen Nuss,” Coppola said. “The honor of having the most wins in the sport could not be bestowed on anyone else than Kristen Nuss. I’m so happy for her. She has put in so much work for this team and this program.”
The records continued to fall her junior season, setting the all-time single-season school record with 33 wins; a record that is sure to fall this week at the NCAA championships. In a COVID-19 shortened season last year, Nuss went 12-2.
Now, for Nuss and the 10 seniors, it is time to bring home the school’s first-ever National Championship.
“This is why all the seniors came back,” she said. “We came back for a shot at a National Championship and now it’s go time. We are going to put everything possible on the line and leave no doubt. This team is ready.
“LSU wins if our team plays with confidence. We have talked about that alot. We must believe every time we go out on the court that the other team cannot do anything to stop us. Have that confidence in each pair out on the sand.”