HOUSTON – Houston native Nicole Mendes couldn’t ask for a better ending to her senior year than winning a national championship with Oklahoma.
“It was really cool because my freshman year we were able to win a national championship, and then to be able to end it with another national championship; it was just the most surreal moment, full-circle moment,” Mendes said. “There were a lot of trials in-between, and we came close in 2019. But to be able to end it this way, was just a storybook ending. It was really great.”
Mendes had some memorable plays during the playoffs; a home run against Florida State, and a dive into the wall that went viral.
“It was such a sweet moment,” Mendes said of the home run. “I just remember coming close several times all week long, and it was like, getting there, getting there, and then it was finally over. And I just remember running around just looking out at my teammates and seeing them yelling, and me yelling back at them.”
Mendes feels an immense amount of gratitude towards the program, which she describes as a family.
“The fact that I got to be on this team and be somebody in a leadership position and help take my team to that in whichever way; whether it’s diving into a wall or hitting a home run; all those moments kind of hit me at once,” said Mendes.
Her college career may have ended, but now come the Olympics. Mendes will start training before heading to Tokyo as a part of Team Mexico.
“The fact that I get to represent Mexico and my heritage and what I’m from, and what has made me, me; makes me so proud,” she said. “And I know my family is proud, my grandparents are so proud, and hopefully I make the country of Mexico proud.”