Seattle, WA -- Meet Nicole Sargent (#5). Nicole joins us as a freshman at UW and currently plays as one of the team's top defenders.
Nicole is one of the team's nine players that hail from California and one of the six freshmen that have had an immediate impact on the program; leading the Huskies to their current #2 seed in the division and their recent break into the top 25 in the CWPA national poll.
Nicole joined the program from Arcadia High School in Arcadia, California where she first started playing water polo her freshman year after years of swimming and, deciding she wanted to try it out. She's never looked back and has positioned herself as one of the Huskies' top defenders.
"Oh yeah!" That was Assistant Head Coach, Gregory Mercer's first response when asked his thoughts about the freshman defensive standout. He later clarified with, "Nicole is one of those players that shows zero fear. No matter her size, her opponent's size or skill, she is coming at them 100% every single time. She plays hard in competition and in practice and continues to be one of those people that just steps it up for everyone around her. She's exactly the presence you want on a team to make sure everyone is playing at a high level."
Her fierceness in the water can probably be attributed to her early passion in martial arts, where she earned a junior black belt in Tae Kwon Do at the age of 9 - a little known fact about Nicole.
Despite being far from home, Nicole feels at ease at UW and loves the school. Her favorite thing about UW is all the extracurricular activities and clubs any student can do, as well as the many concerts close to campus and the local music scene. It also doesn't hurt there's a number of amazing Thai joints located around campus (her admitted favorite food from back home).
When asked what her favorite thing about the University of Washington Water Polo team was, she said, "I really like how different all of the girls are, and how we each contribute unique qualities to balance out the team. This makes for a diverse group that works really well together."
The Huskies are counting on Nicole to follow up her outstanding performance at Corvallis back in March, as the Huskies prepare to compete and win the Northwest Division title this weekend in Pullman, WA. At the second CWPA tournament, Nicole had, 2 goals, 6 steals, 2 field blocks and 3 assists as the Dawgs went 4-0 and finished 7-1 in regular season conference play.
For the latest up-to-date info on the upcoming tournament, don't forget to follow the Huskies on Twitter at their handle @UW_WaterPolo. And if you go out to Pullman this weekend to cheer on the Huskies, look for #5. She'll be the one stealing the ball and harassing offenses all day; and always quietly and with a smile.