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Nicole Branagh:
 
Nicole Branagh
United States  
  
 
Vital Statistics
 

Photo: Ken Delgado
Birth Date January 31, 1979 (35 years old)
Home Town Orinda, CA
Resides Hawthorne, CA
Height 6'2"
College Minnesota
  Best Finish Winnings
United States 1st (16 times) $682,118
   AVP 1st (16 times) $560,618
   AVP CUERVO 1st $12,500
   AVP HWN* 1st (2 times) $19,875
   P&R 3rd $2,500
   Pro Beach 3rd (4 times) $12,625
   Wide Open 7th $1,500
   Bonus Money   $72,500
International 1st (3 times) $353,125
   FIVB 1st (3 times) $353,125
Overall 1st (19 times) $1,035,243
 
Bio Bits

Beach Bits:

Branagh is the only women's player to twice be named AVP's Most Improved Player.
Her first six AVP victories occurred in the Central or Eastern Time Zone before winning five California events in 2009... 10 of her 16 AVP wins have come in the events she has played in the Central or Eastern Time Zone.
Branagh and Elaine Youngs did not win a medal in their first eight FIVB events, then proceeded to win medals in seven of the next 11 tournaments en route to qualifying for the Beijing Games.

2011: Branagh teamed with Angie Akers for the first time internationally, and the first time since 2005, placing ninth in the FIVB season opener.
2010: Branagh formed a new partnership with Misty May-Treanor. In the season opener in Fort Lauderdale, the duo won, becoming the first team to win a domestic event in their first tournament since 2002 and just the second team to do so since 1996. The duo advanced to the semifinals in six of seven AVP events, and five of their six losses were three-set matches. They also won the final AVP event in Long Beach. On the FIVB Tour Branagh and May-Treanor advanced to three semifinals in their first five events, with a best of third place, before going four straight tournaments finishing ninth or lower. Branagh then teamed with Kerri Walsh for the final two FIVB events, placing fifth before winning in Phuket.
2009: Branagh and Youngs appeared in the championship match in each of their first 13 AVP events, winning nine times. Branagh won her first Manhattan Beach Open title as the duo swept all seven opponents. She ended the season second in hitting percentage (.483) and fifth in aces per game (.81). Internationally the duo placed fifth in the World Championships before claiming the bronze medal in the Gstaad Grand Slam and a silver in Klagenfurt. They won three medals in five events.
2008: Branagh and Youngs advanced to the semifinals in 11 of 12 events and to six finals. The duo won two events and finished as the third-ranked team on the Tour. For the second straight year, they won the Cuervo Gold Crown Championship. Finished third in aces per game (.90) and fourth in hitting percentage (.458). On the FIVB Tour, they won four medals in eight events en route to qualifying for the Beijing Olympics. In claiming the title in Barcelona, became just the second team to rebound from a second-round loss to win an event. Branagh and Youngs were fifth in the world in qualifying, and placed fifth in Beijing. Following the Olympics, Branagh competed in Dubai with Kerri Walsh, and the pair won in what was their first event together. In the final two events of the year, Branagh played with Tyra Turner, placing second and third.
2007: Played the entire season with Youngs, and won her first event in the season opener in Miami. Branagh and Youngs were in the semifinals in 12 of 14 events, winning three of the 10 finals they competed in. Their second win, in Seaside Heights, set the mark for the longest match in AVP history (1:41). Finished as the second-ranked team on the Tour and won the Cuervo Gold Crown Series as the only team to play in all three of the finals in the first three events, earning a $100,000 team bonus. Finished second in kills per game (7.48), sixth in aces (.90) and ninth in hitting percentage (.431). On the FIVB Tour, they played in eight events, earning two bronze and a silver medal in their last three tournaments.
2006: Prior to the season, played two events on the Australian Tour with Angie Akers, finishing fifth and second. Played alongside two Olympic Bronze medalists in 2006, Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs. Advanced to nine semifinals and two championship matches en route to an individual ranking of eighth in terms of season points. Statistically she led the Tour in kills per game (8.42), was fifth in hitting percentage (.453) and seventh in aces (.72). Competed on the FIVB Tour for the first time, with a best of fourth (in Vitoria, Brazil) in eight events.
2005: For the second straight season, played with three different partners, and had a best of fifth (Boulder). Earned Rookie of the Year honors after chalking up four wins over teams seeded eighth or better, while losing just once to a team seeded below her.
2004: Advanced to the main draw in her third event ever (Belmar) and placed 13th, earning her a spot in the main draw which she never relinquished. While she didn't have enough games to qualify, had 25 aces in 26 games played, which was the highest average on the Tour.

Hot Winter Nights: Played in the final event of 2008 in Las Vegas, defeating Youngs in the championship match for the title. In 2009 she played in five HWN events, winning in Omaha. She finished with a 2-1 record in all five of her events in 2009.

College: At Minnesota she was a two-time second-team All-American and in 2000 was the co-Player of the Year in the Big Ten Conference. Was first-team all-conference three years after getting honorable mention her freshman season. When she finished playing, she had tallied the most kills ever in Big Ten history (2,379), and ranked third in career digs in school history. Her career kill total was sixth in NCAA Division I history, yet she had played in fewer games than any of the top five.

Personal: A member of the U.S. National Team from 2001-2003, and played for the bronze-medal team in the Pan-Am Games in 2003. She played professionally in Japan and Italy after graduation. She was also named MVP of the USPV Championship Tournament after helping the Minnesota Chill to the 2002 title.

 
 
Awards
 
  • AVP Best Offensive Player 2009
  • AVP Crocs Cup Champion 2009 (Elaine Youngs)
  • AVP Most Improved Player 2006, 2008
  • AVP Most Valuable Player 2009
  • AVP Rookie of the Year 2005
  • AVP Team of the Year 2009 (Elaine Youngs)
  • FIVB Most Improved Player 2008
 
Career Summary
 
United States
Season Assoc Played 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 9th Money Points Rank 13th 17th 25th 27th 33rd CQ
2004 AVP 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 $2,430.00 259.0 43rd 2 0 0 1 1 0
2005 AVP 11 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 6 $14,712.50 934.0 21st 0 3 0 0 0 0
2006 AVP 16 0 2 6 1 2 0 2 2 $65,850.00 2,014.0 8th 0 0 0 0 0 0
2007 AVP 15 3 7 3 0 1 0 1 0 $169,225.00 2,264.0 3rd 0 0 0 0 0 0
2008 AVP CUERVO 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 $12,500.00 0.0   0 0 0 0 0 0
2008 AVP HWN* 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 $4,250.00     0 0 0 0 0 0
2008 AVP 13 2 5 5 0 1 0 0 0 $114,250.00 2,111.0 7th 0 0 0 0 0 0
2009 AVP HWN* 5 1 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 $15,625.00     0 0 0 0 0 0
2009 AVP 15 9 4 0 0 0 1 1 0 $190,700.00 4,655.0 1st 0 0 0 0 0 0
2010 AVP 7 2 2 2 0 1 0 0 0 $48,500.00 2,155.0 1st 0 0 0 0 0 0
Season Assoc Played 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 9th Money Points Rank 13th 17th 25th 27th 33rd CQ
2010 P&R 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 $2,500.00 0.0   0 0 0 0 0 0
2011 AVP 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 $0.00     0 0 0 0 0 0
2011 Pro Beach 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 $7,125.00 576.0   0 0 0 0 0 0
2011 Wide Open 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 $1,500.00 0.0   0 0 0 0 0 0
2012 AVP 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 $17,000.00 2,700.0 3rd 0 0 0 0 0 0
2012 Pro Beach 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 $5,500.00 400.0   0 0 0 0 0 0
2014 AVP 5 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 2 $10,450.00 975.0 21st 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total
(Rank)
  103
(50th)
16
(20th)
22 22 1 9 1 6 11 $682,117.50
(6th)
19,043.0   2 3 0 1 1 0
 
International
Season Assoc Played 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 9th Money Points Rank 13th 17th 25th 27th 33rd CQ
2006 FIVB 8 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 $21,450.00 765.0 53rd 1 0 1 0 1 2
2007 FIVB 8 0 1 2 0 3 0 0 2 $57,200.00 1,850.0 19th 0 0 0 0 0 0
2008 FIVB 12 2 2 3 1 3 0 0 1 $99,200.00 2,840.0 3rd 0 0 0 0 0 0
2009 FIVB 5 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 $44,150.00 1,350.0 29th 0 0 0 0 0 0
2010 FIVB 11 1 0 1 2 2 0 0 3 $67,325.00 2,100.0 13th 1 0 1 0 0 0
2011 FIVB 14 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 6 $41,450.00 1,580.0 29th 2 2 0 0 0 2
2012 FIVB 6 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 $17,250.00 610.0 60th 0 3 0 0 0 1
2013 FIVB 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 $2,600.00 235.0 140th 0 1 1 0 0 0
2014 FIVB 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 $2,500.00 80.0 179th 0 0 1 0 0 0
Total
(Rank)
  67
(113rd)
3
(35th)
4 7 6 13 0 0 14 $353,125.00
(39th)
11,410.0   4 6 4 0 1 5
 
 
 
 
Overall
Total
(Rank)
  170
(26th)
19
(26th)
26 29 7 22 1 6 25 $1,035,242.50
(12th)
30,453.0   6 9 4 1 2 5
 
* AVP Hot Winter Nights events are exhibitions and only count for tournaments played and prize money won.
Red denotes ranked 1st
 
Victory List
 
Victory Date Assoc Location Partner Seed Winnings
1 4/15/2007 AVP Miami Elaine Youngs 2 $10,000
2 7/8/2007 AVP Seaside Heights Elaine Youngs 2 $10,000
3 8/19/2007 AVP Boston Elaine Youngs 2 $14,000
4 5/10/2008 AVP Charleston Elaine Youngs 1 $10,000
5 5/31/2008 FIVB Barcelona Elaine Youngs 2 $14,000
6 8/31/2008 AVP Mason Elaine Youngs 3 $10,000
7 10/11/2008 FIVB Dubai Kerri Walsh Jennings 1 $14,000
8 3/29/2009 AVP Panama City Elaine Youngs 1 $12,000
9 4/19/2009 AVP Riverside Elaine Youngs 1 $12,000
10 5/3/2009 AVP San Diego Elaine Youngs 1 $12,000
Victory Date Assoc Location Partner Seed Winnings
11 5/24/2009 AVP Huntington Beach Elaine Youngs 1 $12,000
12 5/31/2009 AVP Atlanta Elaine Youngs 1 $12,000
13 7/19/2009 AVP Manhattan Beach Elaine Youngs 1 $17,000
14 8/8/2009 AVP Hermosa Beach Elaine Youngs 1 $17,000
15 8/23/2009 AVP Muskegon Elaine Youngs 1 $12,000
16 8/30/2009 AVP Chicago Elaine Youngs 1 $18,000
17 4/18/2010 AVP Fort Lauderdale Misty May-Treanor 1 $10,000
18 7/25/2010 AVP Long Beach Misty May-Treanor 2 $11,000
19 11/7/2010 FIVB Phuket Kerri Walsh Jennings 4 $15,000
 

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