USC Alumna Geena Urango Earns AVP Main Draw Bid|
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May 29, 2014
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Former USC sand volleyball standout Geena Urango earned her second-career AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals) main draw bid on Thursday, May 29, as she and partner Briana Hinga advanced through the qualifying tournament for the St. Petersburg Open on the sands of Spa Beach Park. Urango and Hinga will take part in the main draw event this weekend (May 30-June 1).
Urango and Hinga entered the open qualifier as the third seed out of 16 teams and claimed a pair of victories to take one of four available qualifier spots in the main draw. In the first round of matches, Urango-Hinga defeated Carol Hamilton and Bridget Lambert in straight sets, 21-12, 21-18. In the second round, the duo went three sets to knock off Suzana Manole and Tiffany Marinos, 21-12, 15-21, 15-10.
Up next, Urango and Hinga must face the pair of Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat in the first round of the main draw set for an 11:05 a.m. ET start. Fendrick and Sweat are the tourney's fourth-seeded team but are No. 18 in the latest FIVB world rankings. The top-seeded duo of Emily Day and Summer Ross rank No. 16 in the world while former USC indoor volleyball All-American April Ross and three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings hold the No. 2 seed and are ranked No. 3 in the world.
The St. Petersburg Open is a 16-team double-elimination tournament and is the first of the AVP's seven-stop tour schedule for 2014. The AVP returns to St. Petersburg for the second straight year and will feature world-class athletes including U.S. Olympians battling it out over the weekend for prize money. This ultimate beach festival includes interactive activities, music, athlete signings, and more. On the men's side of the Open tourney, former USC volleyball star Tri Bourne is paired with John Hyden as the No. 2 seed.
Urango carries the lofty distinction as the first-ever recipient of a USC sand volleyball scholarship. She was a member of the groundbreaking inaugural squad in 2012 following a four-year career with the Trojans' championship-winning indoor volleyball program.
For more information about USC athletics, please visit USCTrojans.com. For more information about the AVP and the 2014 AVP Tour, as well as a live stream of matches from the St. Petersburg Open, please visit AVP.com. The finals of the Open will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network on Sunday, June 1, at 1 p.m. ET.