LSU’s Nuss and Coppola, FAU’s Wienckowski repeat as USAV Beach champs

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Beach Collegiate Pairs-Kristen Nuss-LSU
LSU's Kristen Nuss, digging a ball Saturday, and Claire Coppola repeated as USA Volleyball Beach Collegiate champions/Matt Brown, USAV photo

HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. — LSU’s Kristen Nuss and Claire Coppola put an exclamation on a tremendous junior season by winning the USA Volleyball Collegiate Beach Championships again.

Nuss and Coppola, who went 32-4 this season and have the most victories (91) in LSU history, capped 2019 off with a 21-18, 21-23, 15-12 victory Saturday over Pepperdine’s Brook Bauer and Deahna Kraft. A video interview with them and coach Russell Brock follows.

Adam Wienckowski also repeated, but this year with a different partner. Wienckowski — who played for Florida State last year, but this season represented Florida Atlantic — and UCLA’s Tim Brewster beat Florida State’s Jon Justice — with whom Wienckowski won the 2018 title — and Bryce Estes of Nicholls State 21-17, 15-21, 23-21.

LSU finished third in the NCAA’s National Collegiate Beach Championship last weekend, beating Pepperdine in the first round. But Nuss and Coppola played No. 1 for LSU, while Bauer played No. 1 and Kraft No. 2.

In the first set Saturday, it was tied 17-17 when Nuss took over, digging Pepperdine’s shots and transitioning them successfully for winners to gain the first set win.

In the second set, both teams were close throughout, but Nuss’ defense gave LSU the first two set points.The 5-foot-6 Nuss had an open net on the second, but her cut shot fell into the tape. 

Bauer then pounded two jump serves for winners, one down the seam and one that Nuss couldn’t control.

It was 11-all win the third when a Nuss dig and successful cut gave the Tigers a 13-11 lead. Two side outs later, Kraft had open court on the poke but missed it wide to end it.

Loyola Marymount’s Emma Doud and Savannah Slattery won bronze by beating Florida State’s Madison Fitzpatrick and Alaina Chacon 21-19, 13-21, 15-12.

Zachary Meyer and Jordan Hoppe of Concordia Irvine defeated Jason Gibbs and Carlos Jimenez of Lewis 26-28, 21-14, 19-17 for men’s bronze.

Click here for the women’s bracket, and here’s for the men’s.

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