Former Gaucho Brooke Niles Advances to Main Draw in Brazil

April 21, 2010

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The U.S. women's beach volleyball team of former UC Santa Barbara standout Brooke Hanson (nee Niles) and Lisa Rutledge has qualified for the main draw of the Brasília Open, the first stop on the 2010 SWATCH FIVB World Tour.

Also, the U.S. women's beach volleyball team of Akers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Tyra Turner (Fort Myers Beach, Fla.) has withdrawn from the Brasilia Open due to injury.

After getting a bye into the second round, Hanson and Rutledge opened play on Tuesday by beating Stine Andreasen and Lotte Vestergaard of Denmark, 21-10, 21-10 in 32 minutes.

In the second round, Hanson and Rutledge defeated Russia's Ekaterina Khomyakova and Anastasia Vasina, 21-16, 21-17 in 37 minutes.

The women's main draw will begin on Wednesday along with men's qualifying. However the United States does not have a men's team in the qualifying bracket.

The main draw rounds start Wednesday for women and Thursday for men as the beach volleyball teams seek the $30,000 first-place prizes. The medal matches will be Saturday for women and Sunday for men.

For more information about the FIVB World Tour event in Brazil, visit the FIVB beach volleyball web site by clicking here.