The 5'6" Legend
Photo Credit: Mark Rigney
This past weekend in the beautiful town of Gulf Shores, Alabama I got to watch a legend compete in the NCAA Beach Volleyball National Championships. Playing in the 1's for LSU (one of the top beach volleyball programs in the nation) Kristen Nuss stands at only 5'6". When people think of successful volleyball players, they think of a stereotype: tall girls. Nuss' collegiate career proved all of these people wrong, for this year she became the winningest player in college beach volleyball history.
Through Nuss' hard work and dedication, she was able to accomplish everything she hoped for. Not only has Kristen Nuss inspired those who have been told their whole lives that they were "too short" to play volleyball (including me), she has inspired everyone in the beach volleyball community. A few months ago, I was playing in a Women's tournament in Wilmington, NC and Kristen Nuss and her partner, Taryn Kloth, made the trip from Louisiana to compete in it as well. Not only did I get to play them, but I also got to sit and talk with Nuss about progressing my game. Being such an amazing player, she had every right to be arrogant, but Nuss was one of the humblest people I have ever talked to and wanted more than anything to grow the sport of beach volleyball.
Nuss is someone I have looked up to since I started playing beach volleyball and getting to watch her compete in a championship setting was surreal. In her post after the NCAA tournament had come to an end, Nuss concluded by saying:
To those 5'6" and under out there, prove them wrong, you can accomplish whatever you put your mind to!
Chase your dreams!
Nuss will never be able to comprehend the legacy she has left behind. She has been, and will continue to be, a testimony for shorter players like myself who want more than anything to follow in her footsteps.