DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for nearly four decades. He covered high school sports on several occasions as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State sports. From 2008-14, he was a staff writer for, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Ex-Gator Coppola wins beach title for LSU

Former Xavier Prep beach volleyball player Claire Coppola has gone from state champion here to a national champion at LSU!!

Coppola, a 2016 Gator graduate, teamed with teammate Kristen Nuss to win the USA Volleyball Collegiate Beach Championship over the weekend at Hermosa Beach, Calif.

Claire Coppola (LSU photo).
The pair had to win twice on Saturday (May 12) to take home the trophy. Thirty pairs competed in the event.

In the semifinals, they defeated Cal Poly’s Torrey Van Winden and Emily Sonny 21-17, 23-21. Then it was on to the title match, which proved to be about as tough as you can get.

Coppola and Nuss faced Florida State’s Hailey Luke and Kailey Horton. Coppola and Nuss won the first game 21-9, fell in the second 21-17 and won the third and deciding game 15-8.

With the win, Coppola and Nuss are expected to represent the U.S. at the 2018 FISU Championships July 9-13 in Munich, Germany.

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