Kloth and Nuss Named CCSA Beach Pair of the Year

by Grant Kauvar | Communications Graduate Assistant
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Kloth and Nuss Named CCSA Beach Pair of the Year

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss were tabbed as the CCSA Pair of the Year on Thursday and both were named as the only unanimous selections to the All-Conference team selected by the league’s coaches.

For Nuss, this is the fourth time she has been selected to the CCSA All-Conference team, becoming the first player in conference history to do so.

Along with Nuss, Claire Coppola was selected to the CCSA All-Academic Team as well.

The Tigers are set to begin play at the CCSA Conference Tournament in the Aqua Bracket this weekend in a double-elimination format. LSU will face Missouri State Friday at 11:30 a.m. CT in the first round. 

Kloth, a native of Sioux Falls, S.D. and Nuss, from New Orleans, have been the most dominant pair in the nation this year with a 27-0 record competing against other team’s best competition on Court 1. Of their 27 victories, 24 have come in straight sets. 

The same four teams have occupied the AVCA Top-Four throughout the entire season – LSU, Florida State, UCLA and USC. The Tigers have faced each of the other three teams twice. Kloth and Nuss are 6-0 against their top pairs.

Having success on Court 1 is nothing new for Nuss. Earlier this season, the 5-6 defender became the winningest player in the history of college beach volleyball. Nuss enters the postseason with 130 career victories.

Prior to the season, Kloth was named CollegeBeachVB.com’s Preseason Breakthrough Player of the Year. She has done everything to live up to that billing. During the shortened 2020 season, Kloth showed her potential and was 13-0 on Court 4 with Kelli Greene-Agnew. The pair did not drop a set during those 13 matches.

Last Summer was when the 6-4 blocker showed her real potential to make the jump from Court 4 to Court 1 with Nuss and is why she was billed as the Preseason Breakthrough Player of the Year.

Kloth and Nuss began entering some AVPNext Tournaments during the offseason against professional level competition. They didn’t just show they could compete at the professional level though, they showed they could win, earning dominant first-place finishes in three AVPNext events.

Showing their ability to be a menacing pair during the offseason, Kloth and Nuss were paired together on Court 1 to begin the 2021 season for the Tigers. With Kloth’s physical presence at the net and Nuss’ quick-footedness behind her with the ability to get to nearly every ball, the pair has solidified themselves as the top pair in not just the conference, but the country, mowing down any pair that has come in their way.

The weekend that best exemplified their dominance was in California April 3-4 when the Tigers faced UCLA in a Saturday double-header and USC in a Sunday double-header. On Saturday, Kloth and Nuss faced UCLA’s Savvy Simo and Lexy Denaburg, the defending Pac 12 Pair of the Week. The first match went to three sets where Kloth and Nuss faced 12 match-point serves before ultimately winning, 27-25. In the second match, Kloth and Nuss won in two sets.

On Sunday, the LSU duo squared off against USC’s Tina Graduina, a qualified Tokyo Olympian in her home country of Latvia, and Sammy Slater, an All-American. The first match against the Trojans came down to a third set on Court 1 as the overall match was tied at 2-2. Kloth and Nuss never wavered and won the third set to give LSU the victory. In the second match, Kloth and Nuss won in straight-sets.

The All-Academic Team recognizes student-athletes who excel both in the sand and in the classroom. All the members of the team boast a 3.30 cumulative grade point average or better and participated in at least half of their team’s games.

Nuss is currently enrolled in graduate level classes after earning her B.S. in Kinesiology in December with a 3.67 GPA. This is the third time she has been named to the CCSA All-Conference team. She was named on the 2021 Spring SEC Honor Roll as well.

Coppola is working towards finishing her third LSU degree which will be a Master’s in Leadership and Human Resource Development. She has a B.S. in Marketing and Professional Sales as well as her Master’s in Business Administration. She has carried over a 4.0 GPA throughout her academic career and has a job lined up in Los Angeles where she will be doing Orthopedic Medical Device Sales for Sports Surgeries.

In the sand, Coppola is no stranger to success with 120 career victories, tied for the fourth most in college beach volleyball history. With four more victories she would move into the No. 2 spot.

2021 CCSA Beach Volleyball Postseason Honors and Awards

Pair of the Year: Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss, LSU

Freshman of the Year: Keara Rutz, Florida State

Coach of the Year: Brooke Niles, Florida State

All-Conference Team

*Kristen Nuss^, LSU

*Taryn Kloth, LSU

Erica Brok, FAU

Mackenzie Morris, FAU

Federica Frasca#, FIU

Roberta Ribiero, FIU

Torrey Van Winden, FSU

Keara Rutz, FSU

Daniela Alverez, TCU

Tania Morena Mateeva, TCU

All-Freshman Team

Keara Rutz, FSU

Paige Kalkoff, FIU

Maddie Anderson, FSU

Daniela Alverez, TCU

Tania Morena Mateeva, TCU

CCSA All-Academic Team

Molly McBain, FSU

Erica Brock, FAU

Lina Bernier^, FIU

Maddy Delmonte, Georgia State

Kelly Dorn, Georgia State

Claire Coppola, LSU

Kristen Nuss#, LSU

Jordan Smith, South Carolina

Katie Smith, South Carolina

Tarin Mergener, Tulane

* Denotes unanimous selection

# Denotes a three-time selection

^ Denotes a four-time selection