“Nicole has been the most reliable serve receiver in my 12 years here at SSU,” said Women’s Volleyball Head Coach Bear Grassl. “It’s no coincidence that we are having such a great start to the season and she is having a nearly flawless season in our sideout game.”
Gragnola is a senior libero for the Sonoma State Seawolves. She graduated from Saratoga High School in which she was a three sport athlete for the Falcons, and she received an All-League First Team selection in volleyball. She was also a First Team All-San Jose Mercury News honoree as a senior.
“I honestly did not see myself going to school at SSU, but after I came to my recruiting trip and practiced with the team, I knew it was the perfect fit,” said Gragnola. “The girls were super welcoming and competitive, and immediately after leaving the practice I knew I was going to come to SSU.”
Nicole and the other seniors have helped lead the Seawolves to an overall 15-2 record, and an 8-1 record within the conference. The Seawolves currently have a streak of eight straight wins.
“We have been working extremely hard all season, and it is the best part we have ever had to a season,” said Gragnola. “We have a lot of tough games ahead of us, but so far we have learned and grown from every game, and it has been so much fun playing with this team.”
When her teammates were asked about her presence on and off the court, Gragnola received nothing but praise.
“She is one of the hardest working players I know and she is really good at what she does,” said senior Hayley Ross. “She’s one of my closest friends and it’s been an honor being able to play with her.”
Gragnola talked about the overwhelming support she receives from her family members.
“My parents are absolutely my biggest supporters,” said Gragnola. “They come to almost all our home games and even travel to come watch, and they are always there to support me.”
Gragnola said that making the Academic All-American team was her biggest achievement in her junior season.
“I have always wanted to be able to achieve both on the court and in the classroom, and that award showed that I was able to accomplish that,” said Gragnola. “Also, making it to the West Region Finals my sophomore year was a huge accomplishment for our team, and it really showed how hard we worked each and every day.”
The Seawolves looked to continue their success this weekend with two matches against Cal State East Bay and Cal State Monterey.
“I am excited to see where we end up. I don’t ever want the season to end since it’s my last year playing,” said Gragnola. “But I am so excited to see how far we can go because I know our team has so much potential this year.”