Geena Urango didn’t expect to be playing on the AVP Tour. After playing volleyball for five years at USC – four indoors, one on the beach – Urango, who studied digital marketing, was just stoked to have a job: Interning with the AVP Tour.
“My first day on the job I get called into Donald [Sun’s] office just to do a little meet and greet,” Urango recalled on SANDCAST: Beach Volleyball with Tri Bourne and Travis Mewhirter. “He’s like ‘Yeah, so you’re going to play too, right?’ And I was like ‘What?’ I didn’t even know that was an option.
“Just that one sentence sparked it.”
That question was both a blessing and a burden for Sun, who was able to retain Urango for a year and a half before Urango ultimately realized that she still had a passion for the game, to the point that she quit her job with the AVP to focus full-time on her career as a player.
Her decision has proved to be prescient. Since concentrating on beach – she still freelances as a marketer – Urango has become one of the top defenders on the AVP Tour, making four finals over the course of the 2015, ’16, and ’17 seasons with partner Angela Bensend. It was a partnership that began on a last-minute scramble prior to the 2015 Manhattan Beach Open and has since become one of the most recognizable on Tour, both for their play, their nickname – “TexMex” – and garish bikinis, kudos of Goldsheep.
“Benny and I, what was great about playing together, we were always on the same page, what our goals were for the season,” Urango said. “Each season we progressively got better and better, so it was ‘Why break what’s not broken?’ We had a great balance. She was fiery and brought a lot of energy and I was more calm and collected.”
Bensend, however, has since moved to Philadelphia, and with a balky back her future on the beach is uncertain, leaving Urango one of the more talented free agents on Tour.
For now, Urango is content traveling the world, snowboarding, spoiling her dogs.
Find our full show notes at VolleyballMag.com.