Mount Carmel junior Kristen Nuss was sporting two state championship rings Monday night.
On one hand, there is the one representing the basketball state championship she won in March.
On the other hand is the one she won as a volleyball player as a freshman.
A third ring, the one she won in volleyball in November, is on the way. (She said she plans to put that one on her index finger.)
And she might just be placing an order for a fourth one — this one in soccer — in a little over a week.
“Hopefully I will be doing that,” she said.
Nuss, you see, piled even more on her already-full plate this year and decided to join the soccer team as well.
The Cubs, the No. 1 seed in Division I, are just two wins away from a state championship
Nuss had a lot to do with getting them to this point.
She scored the only goal Monday as Mount Carmel squeaked by Byrd for a 1-0 victory in the quarterfinals. She scored after teammate Hope Hoffman’s shot rebounded off the Byrd goalkeeper.
“It felt amazing,” Nuss said. “It was all Hope, who kicked it first and I just happened to be there at the right time.”
Nuss was just glad to be there at all. She hadn’t played soccer in about five years before deciding to play it again before this season.
“I used to play when I was a kid, but once soccer and basketball started conflicting, I had to pick one,” she said. “This year I was given an opportunity to do both and I missed soccer and I said ‘let’s go for it.’ It’s been great. It showed how much I really missed it.”
Mount Carmel soccer coach Pavlos Petrou is glad Nuss did.
“She works so hard and is very humble,” Petrou said. “She is one of those rare kind.”
With soccer and basketball overlapping, there have been a few conflicts this season. But Nuss normally chooses to play in the game that is the most important. For example, she missed a basketball game in the Sugar Bowl Classic to play in a key district soccer game.
So which of the three sports is her favorite?
“I can’t really pick one,” Nuss answered.
“I have a scholarship to play sand volleyball at LSU, but I love playing all of them.”
She stays plenty busy juggling her time as an outside hitter in volleyball, a point guard in basketball and a forward in soccer. Oh, plus schoolwork.
“It’s tough at times,” she said. “I try to get a lot of homework done at school, so hopefully I don’t have too much when I get home. A lot of times I want to rest and give my legs a break.”
But there’s no time for a break right now.
Mount Carmel begins its quest for a basketball repeat Thursday in the opening round of the playoffs when it hosts Chapelle.
Then she will turn around Friday and play soccer when the Cubs host Mandeville in the Division I semifinals.
Victories on Thursday in basketball and Friday in soccer would move her a step closer to two more championship rings, which would give her five.
And she’s just a junior, so more could be on the way.
“Hopefully there will be,” she said. “I will be working on that.”