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LSU Beach Volleyball Finishes Season Ranked No. 1

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Beach Volleyball was on verge of a historic season, now it is over.

2018 NCAA Division I Women’s Beach Volleyball Championship
LSU takes on Pepperdine University during the NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship held at Gulf Beach on May 4, 2018 in Gulf Shores, Alabama
Photo by Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

The #1 LSU Beach Volleyball team was on the verge of a historic season.

The Tigers, or Sandy Tigs as they are commonly called, were the top ranked team in the country and had just set a record for attendance in a campus beach volleyball game.

The Tigers were poised to make a strong run at the beach volleyball championship which was going to be held in Gulf Shores. That will no longer be the case as the NCAA has canceled all spring championships.

It is unclear whether the three seniors and graduate transfers will get another year, but LSU should be a contender again next season. Still, it is important to point out just how extraordinary this team was and just how big its accomplishments were.

The Tigers started off this season by beating then #1 UCLA in Hawaii for the first time ever, getting revenge for 3 loss to UCLA in the previous season, including last year’s national championship tournament.

In the Beach Volleyball game of the century at LSU Beach Volleyball Stadium AKA Death Volley, then #2 LSU beat #1 UCLA to take the series lead 2-1 and gain the program’s first ever #1 ranking.

In that game of the century, LSU set the all-time collegiate beach volleyball attendance record with 2,407 fans, which was a remarkable testament to just how much the program has grown.

Graduate transfer Taryn Kloth was 14-0 on the season with a record of 28-0 in sets, an extraordinary level of dominance.

Graduate transfer Jess Schaben garnered a huge third set win with freshman partner Sydney Moore to give LSU the home win over UCLA in dramatic fashion along with a 10-4 season record.

Graduate player Toni Rodriguez, who had previously played indoor for LSU, had established herself as a force to be reckoned with on the third court finishing the season 10-2 and with 31 career wins at LSU.

Senior Olivia Powers went 8-0 for the Sandy Tigs tallying 64 career wins for the program, currently the 6th most of any individual.

Head Coach Russell Brock was nearing 100 wins as coach of LSU and is currently at 97 wins.

Seniors Claire Coppola and Kristen Nuss became the third pair in collegiate beach volleyball to achieve 100 wins finishing with 103 wins. They went 12-2, matching LSU’s record and sit at 103-21 for their career.

These seniors have been the leaders for this LSU team for nearly four years and it is impossible to imagine LSU beach volleyball without them. They will go down as two of the greatest athletes in LSU history regardless of whether this or next season is their last.