Nicole Branagh Profile
Birth Date: January 31,1979
Weight: 161 lbs (73 kg)
Height: 6’2” (1.88 m)
Resides: Torrance, Calif.
Olympic History: 2008 Women's Beach Volleyball (5th place)
Olympian Branagh played collegiately at the University of Minnesota. She was twice named to the All-America Second Team as an outside hitter. She also was the Big Ten's co-Player of the Year in her senior season. Following graduation, she played for the US National team from 2001 to 2003, finishing her national career after the 2003 Pan American Games, where she won a Bronze Medal and was the Top Scorer.
After spending a season as an assistant coach at Cal State Fullerton, Branagh joined the AVP tour. She has had relatively good success on the AVP tour: she was named the AVP Rookie of the Year in 2005 and its Most Improved Player in 2006 and 2008. She partnered with Olympian Holly McPeak for much of the 2006 season before partnering with Elaine Youngs, McPeak's partner in the 2004 Summer Olympics, for the remainder of the 2006 season and the 2007 season. She competed with Youngs at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Branagh credits her competitive spirit to an extended family that includes basketball players, race car drivers, down hill snow skiers, bowlers, and show jumpers. An intense rivalry on the basketball court between Branagh and her uncle, whom she could not best, led her to stop playing basketball, and to pursue volleyball.