Hometown: Orinda, Calif.
Birth Year: 1979
Resides: Torrance, Calif.
College: Minnesota
Olympic History: 2008, 5th place
View Nicole’s complete match statistics at BVBInfo.com

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  • Tied for fifth at the 2008 Olympics with Elaine Youngs, falling in the semifinals to the eventual bronze medalists from China
  • Member of the Women's National Team from 2001-03 and played for the Pan Am Games bronze medal in 2003
  • Nicole's career kill total at Minnesota was sixth in NCAA DI history, yet she played in fewer games than any of the top five

  • Finished second at the 2015 AVP Championships with Jennifer Kropp
  • Won the AVP Chicago Open with Jennifer Kropp, her first AVP win since 2010
  • Took second at the 2015 AVP New York City Open with Jennifer Kropp and second at the Manhattan Beach Open; improving on a ninth-place finish with Amanda Dowdy at the AVP New Orleans to start the 2015 domestic season
  • Placed ninth at the St. Petersburg Grand Slam with Jennifer Fopma, their first event together in 2015
  • With Jenny Kropp, finished 25th at the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam, entered the event through qualification
  • Best finishes in 2014 were three fifth-place performances with Amanda Dowdy on the AVP Tour.
  • Placed 25th at her lone FIVB event of 2014, the Long Beach GS, with Whitney Pavlik
  • Played in two events in 2013, FIVB World Tour with Lauren Fendrick, finishing 25th in Fuzhou and 17th in Shanghai
  • In 2012, Placed fourth with Lauren Fendrick at the FIVB Bangsaen Thailand Open (10/23-28). It was the first time the team had competed together internationally. The team won $5,600
  • Finished ninth in Stare Jablonki, Poland with Kerri Walsh in 2012, also second on the AVP Tour in Cincinnati and Santa Barbara
  • Teamed with Angie Akers and competed in 14 FIVB World Tour events in 2011. Their best finishes were fifth places in Sanya, China and Stare Jablonki, Poland. 
  • In the final 2010 FIVB World Tour stop of the season, Nicole partnered with Kerri Walsh to win the Phuket Thailand Open. Nicole also partnered with Misty May-Treanor for nine FIVB World Tour events, finishing third in Stavanger, Norway and fourth and fifth place twice, respectively
  • Domestically in 2011, placed third at Jose Cuervo Miami with Brittany Hochevar and in Hermosa Beach with Lisa Rutledge
  • Won the 2010 AVP Fort Lauderdale and Long Beach events with Misty May-Treanor
  • With Elaine Youngs in 2009, finished was second in Klagenfurt, Austria, third in Gstaad, Switzerland and fourth in Brazilia, Brazil
  • Duo won nine AVP tournaments in 2009, including the Manhattan Open
  • Following the 2008 Olympic Games, Nicole partnered with fellow Olympian Kerri Walsh to win the FIVB beach tour event in Dubai. The pair went 6-0 and did not lose a set. 
  • Nicole and partner Elaine Youngs, who were ranked fifth, finished tied for fifth at the 2008 Olympic Games, falling in the quarterfinals (17-21, 13-21) to the fourth-ranked Chinese team of Xue Chen and Zhang Xi, which went on to win the bronze medal. 
  • Nicole and Elaine clinched the second U.S. women's beach volleyball Olympic spot at the FIVB World Tour Grand Slam event in Moscow on July 5. Although Branagh and Youngs won the silver medal, it actually secured enough points for the slot with a 21-17, 21-14 semifinal win over fourth-seeded Brazilians Talita Antunes and Renata Ribeiro. 
  • Nicole and Elaine played in eight FIVB events in 2008 prior to the Olympic Games and won one gold medal (Barcelona), one silver (Moscow) and two bronze (Seoul and Paris). 
  • In 2007, Branagh and Youngs placed second (Phuket, Thailand) and two thirds (Fortaleza, Brazil; St. Petersburg, Russia)
  • Between 2007 and 2004, won four AVP events, finished second nine times
  • Received her degree in public relations/advertising at Minnesota
  • Was a two-year Second Team All-American and Big 10 Player of the Year in 2000
  • First Team All-Conference her sophomore-senior years, honorable mention her freshman season
  • Spent a season as an assistant coach at Cal-State Fullerton. She began playing beach volleyball competitively in 2004
    2015 - Amanda Dowdy, Jennifer Fopma
    2014 - Whitney Pavlik, Amanda Dowdy
    2013 - Lauren Fendrick
    2012 - Tyra Turner, Jenny Kropp, Summer Ross, Kerri Walsh Jennings, Lauren Fendrick
    2011 - Angie Akers, Brittany Hochevar, Lisa Rutledge
    2010 - Kerri Walsh, Misty May-Treanor
    2009 - Elaine Youngs
    2008 - Elaine Youngs, Tyra Turner, Kerri Walsh
    2007 - Elaine Youngs
    2006 - Holly McPeak, Elaine Youngs
    2005 - Kerri Eich, Jeanette Hecker, Angie Akers
    2004 - Alicia Zamparelli, Danalee Corso, Lauren Fendrick

    FIVB Most Improved Player (2008)
    AVP Most Valuable Player (2009)
    AVP Best Offensive Player (2009)
    AVP Most Improved Player (2008, 2006)
    AVP Team of the Year (2009 Elaine Youngs)
    AVP Rookie of the Year (2005)
    AVP Crocs Cup Champion (2009 Elaine Youngs)

    Updated September, 2015