USC Beach Volleyball Alumnae Julia Scoles, Geena Urango Capture AVP Gold Series Titles in Atlanta
ATLANTA – USC beach volleyball alumnae Geena Urango (Los Alamitos, Calif.) and Julia Scoles (Mooresville, N.C.) became the fourth all-Trojan pair to claim an AVP title as winners of the Gold Series Atlanta Open at Atlantic Station on Sunday, Aug. 7.
It is the first-career AVP championship for both Women of Troy and particularly special for Urango who was USC's first-ever beach volleyball scholarship recipient in 2012. Urango is in her 12th season with the Association of Volleyball Professionals and was making her eighth appearance in a final.
It took three sets, but Scoles-Urango took down the top-seeded duo of USC All-American Terese Cannon (Pittsford, N.Y.) and Sarah Sponcill (UCLA alumna), 21-17, 12-21, 16-14, in the final to become only the eighth seventh seed or lower to capture a women's AVP championship. Scoles and Urango led, 13-9, in the third but Cannon-Sponcil saved three match points before the Trojan duo sealed the victory. Cannon and Sponcil teamed to win the Hermosa Beach Open on July 11 to mark their first career AVP wins.
A USC alumna has now won each of the last four AVP events and four of the five major AVP tournaments of the 2022 season. No women's pair has repeated as champion on the tour this summer and for the third straight event, a brand new winner has been crowned. Just one week ago, four-time USC All-American Tina Graudina (Jurmala, Latvia) and All-American Hailey Harward (Phoenix, Ariz.) won their first-career titles at the Fort Lauderdale Open.
Scoles and Urango's victory represents the 65th and 66th individual Trojan AVP women's wins and the 50th event won by at least one female USC athlete all-time. When added to tour wins by USC All-Americans Cannon, Graudina, Harward, Kelly Cheng, Sara Hughes, and April Ross, at least one USC alumna has won 36 of the last 56 AVP events since the 2014 season.
Scoles and Urango now become the fourth all-USC duo to win an AVP title. Their victory marked the 15th time that an all-Trojan pair has won an AVP crown. Cheng (then Claes) and Hughes teamed up to win the 2017 Chicago championship, and previously, Ross and USC All-American Jennifer Kessy captured 12 AVP championships together (2009-13).
Geena Urango and Julia Scoles - GOLD SERIES ATLANTA OPEN CHAMPIONS! 🏆
— AVP (@avpbeach) August 7, 2022
After appearing in the final at the Fort Lauderdale Open, Scoles-Urango opened play in Atlanta with a 21-11, 21-18 win over 10th-seeded Corinne Quiggle and Sarah Schermerhorn in the first round. The second-seeded duo of Hughes and Kelley Kolinske proved to be too much for Scoles and Urango in the second round as the duo took a 19-21, 21-18, 15-9 loss and headed to the contender's bracket.
The road back to the final began with a straight-set win over 13th-seeded Katie Dickens and Jennifer Keddy, 21-17, 21-14. Through several lightning and storm delays, Scoles and Urango defeated the third-seeded pair of Cheng and Betsi Flint and the fourth-seeded duo of Taryn Kloth and Kristin Nuss to earn a Sunday-morning rematch with Hughes and Kolinkse. Scoles-Urango prevailed in the second meeting by a 22-20, 21-18 decision to advance to the championship match. Like most AVP events this summer, eight of the 32 individuals among the 16 pairs competing in the Atlanta Open featured at least one Trojan alumna.
Under third-year head coach Dain Blanton, the USC beach volleyball team captured its fourth NCAA Championship (fifth national title) and fourth Pac-12 crown in 2022. The Women of Troy finished the year ranked No. 1 and had a record of 37-1 with a 36-match win streak intact at the end. USC added four AVCA All-Americans to its history books with the four-time selection of Tina Graudina as well as the third-career honor for Sammy Slater. Graudina was named the Pac-12's Player of the Year a third time and earned Pac-12 and AVCA Pair of the Year honors with partner Hailey Harward, who was also tabbed an AVCA All-American along with sophomore Megan Kraft.
For more information on the USC beach volleyball team, a complete schedule, and results, please visit USCTrojans.com/beach. Fans of the Women of Troy can follow the team on Instagram and on Twitter @USCBeach.