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Former LSU Beach Volleyball duo set to compete in Paris Olympics

3 weeks 16 hours 48 minutes ago Sunday, June 23 2024 Jun 23, 2024 June 23, 2024 7:58 PM June 23, 2024 in Sports
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Two former LSU beach volleyball players will compete for Team USA during the Paris Olympics this summer.

Former Tigers Kristen Nuss and Taryn Kloth are at the top of their game. In 2021, the duo went 36-0 at the collegiate level and have been inseparable since. Currently, they're ranked second in the world and qualified for the Olympics earlier in 2024.

Nuss, a New Orleans native, started playing for the LSU beach volleyball team in 2017. Kloth took a different route. She moved from her home state of South Dakota to play indoor volleyball at Creighton. In 2019, she came to Baton Rouge to play on the beach volleyball team.

"LSU actually took a huge risk on me, I had never played beach volleyball before,” Kloth said. “[LSU] taught me everything that I knew about beach volleyball, that's where it started my career and then that's where I got to meet and play with Kristen."

The pair still holds multiple school records, including one for their perfect season. Since finishing their collegiate careers, the women have kept competing. They work with experts in other fields to be ready on the court.

“To be in these high-pressure situations with her, we do work a lot with our communication, especially with our sports [psychologist]. It’s almost like couples therapy but in the best way. We just know how to communicate with each other more effectively,” Kloth said.

Nuss is 5 feet 6 inches, the shortest U.S. Beach Volleyball Olympian since 1996. Kloth is almost a foot taller.  

"Taryn being 6-foot-5, she's definitely one of the tallest blockers on the tour, which is nice,” Nuss said. “Her job is to not let the ball get past her, so when you're 6-foot-5, it definitely helps being a blocker at the net."

"Me being 5-foot-6, I'm a little closer to the ground, so maybe it has some advantages of being able to dive. My job is to not let the ball hit the ground. It's actually funny though because we don't really recognize the height difference until we see a picture, and then we're like, ‘Oh my goodness.' It makes sense why people were just staring at us as we're walking down the street." 

Kloth and Nuss are the first LSU Beach Volleyball players to qualify for the Olympics. The Paris Summer Olympics start July 26.

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