Lafayette, LA (KPEL News) - Sports fans are gearing up for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris, and Louisiana has at least two reasons to tune in. An LSU duo is headed across the pond to compete for Team USA in beach volleyball, and they are an interesting pair.

Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss, affectionately known as Team TKN, both graduated from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

Nuss, a New Orleans native, grew up cheering on the Tigers and became an elite athlete once she joined the student body. She played basketball, soccer, and volleyball. LSU Sports reports that she became passionate about beach volleyball just as the school was ramping up their program.

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Nuss calls the opportunity to hit the sand in Paris representing the red, white, and blue a dream come true:

I have been dreaming about being an Olympian ever since I knew what the Olympics were. I’m just waiting for someone to pinch me. Getting to represent the United States is something we won’t take lightly. We want everyone that tunes in to be proud of the effort and fight and sportsmanship that they see whenever they watch. None of this would be happening if it was not for LSU. This is where Taryn and I met, and this is where Taryn and I built and solidified this partnership. LSU will always hold a very, very special place in my heart.

South Dakota native Taryn Kloth came to Louisiana with an already impressive indoor volleyball career to her credit, having earned numerous All-American honors.

Kloth describes the opportunity to compete on the most prestigious sporting stage surreal:

It hits me when I think back to watching and adoring those athletes when I was a little girl! Wearing USA on our jersey, that is such an honor! The combination of the flag, red/white/blue, and the national anthem leaves me speechless and with a million goosebumps! As soon as I stepped foot in Louisiana for the first time in 2018, I knew I had to be here. I couldn’t explain why, or how, I just knew that I had to be a Tiger. Luckily, my gut instinct led me to this moment. LSU took a risk on me and brought me into the LSU family, and I am forever grateful!

Nuss and Kloth's competition should rank high on the "must see" list. They are, obviously, talented athletes, but the picture they will present will be interesting and historical.

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Nuss is the only player who stands at 5 feet 6 inches tall or shorter to compete on one of the top 40 pairs in the world. By contrast, Kloth towers at 6 feet 4 inches. LSU Sports writes about the duos knack for playing so well off one another:

Although Nuss is undersized, her instincts and quickness, coupled with her supreme athleticism, allow her to cover every inch of the court. Kloth’s size as a blocker allows her to make plays at the net defensively and when she is not blocking shots, she alters opponents’ shots at the net which gives Nuss the ability to allow her defensive prowess show. Offensively, they both have a multitude of shots to use at the net and earn points.

Expectations are running high, as Nuss and Kloth finished their careers at LSU as an undefeated team. The pressure is increased because a Team USA Pair has medaled in five consecutive Olympics. Four of those medals were gold.

The women’s Olympic beach volleyball competition kicks off July 27 and runs through August 9.

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Gallery Credit: Kadie Daye, Getty Images