On top of being a four-time All-MIAC honoree, Nicole Trnka Hess was also an All-America selection and three-time All-Region middle blocker for the St. Olaf volleyball team. Hess led the Oles to a conference championship and finished her career as both the St. Olaf and MIAC career kills leader with 2,041 to her name. Hess also boasted a career hitting percentage of .352 which remains a school record. Hess competed on the Oles' basketball team during her time in Northfield as well.
After graduating from St. Olaf in 2002, Hess quickly transitioned to the coaching ranks, spending one year as an assistant at St. Thomas before taking over as head coach at St. Catherine in 2003. After seven seasons at the helm for the Wildcats, Hess headed to Saint Benedict where she has since guided CSB to seven NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2018.