It was, of all places, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where Corinne Quiggle discovered her ideal method of travel. It isn’t by car. Or Uber. Or ferry. Or train. Or plane. It is, instead, a tuk-tuk. If you don’t know what that is, you probably just haven’t been to Cambodia, so really, you shouldn’t.
It’s a type of pulled rickshaw where most have three wheels, and it’s how Quiggle and her partner, Amanda Dowdy, got around Cambodia for a two-star FIVB earlier this year. Maybe it’s the tuk-tuk Quiggle loves so much, though it could just as easily be the memory that comes with the curious little vehicle: a silver medal on the FIVB Tour, Quiggle’s first in her young and burgeoning career.
She did not travel, of course, to Cambodia to discover the novelty of a new means of getting from one place to the next, though it’s certainly a nice bonus. Traveling, not necessarily to see the world, but to experience life on the world tour, was Quiggle’s goal at the beginning of this season. Barely five months in, she’s replete with both experience and stories to tell.
“It’s been my goal for as long as I’ve been in beach volleyball so I’m really just taking a good start on it,” Quiggle said on SANDCAST: Beach Volleyball with Tri Bourne and Travis Mewhirter. “I have to grow points right now so that’s why we’re kicking it out as early as we can, just so we have a chance to get into those bigger tournaments.”
It’s why Quiggle and Dowdy were amiss for the season-opener in Huntington Beach, and why they’ll likely miss a few more. The FIVB, for this season at least, is taking precedence. Rather than battle through a fully-loaded AVP Huntington, they flew to Malaysia for a three-star FIVB, claiming fifth out of the qualifier.
“It was a tough decision but for me it makes sense because if we want to get into these bigger tournaments down the rest of the year then we have to make that sacrifice,” Quiggle said. “There’s a ton of great teams so if we’re going to do it, then we have to put that above. We’re thinking ‘Hey we gotta do well in Malaysia so we can do well in those other tournaments.’”
She’s viewing this season through the long lens. As in, a Hubble type distance lens. She understands that to make it into Tokyo’s 2020 Games would be a bit of a stretch. That would be lovely if they made it, but she knows it’s far more reasonable to shoot for Paris in 2024 or Los Angeles in 2028. So she’s preparing now. She’s seeing the world, through tuk-tuks and planes and boats and hitched rides from random strangers in Cuba, while learning what life is like on the world tour.
“This session of time is still a great learning period for me to know that this is what I have to do for 2024 and 2028,” Quiggle said. “We want to go and do as well as we can in these tournaments and if it doesn’t work out for 2020 I think it’s super important to go through that process. Knowing the process helps a lot.”
An added bonus: In learning the process, Quiggle is enjoying one of her finest years yet. It makes sense, considering this is her first full-time year on tour, after competing for Pepperdine and graduating in 2018. Already, she has won her first FIVB medal, came home with another silver at a NORCECA in Mexico, taken a top-10 at AVP Austin.
“It takes me a little while, like, ‘This is crazy. I’m going to Mexico for a little while, and then in three days I’m going to Malaysia,’” Quiggle said. “And to have the opportunity to play in Huntington, and then in Austin, it’s amazing to know that we’re going to be in there. We’re getting into these tournaments, even a three-star, even a qualifier, we have the opportunity to get into those tournaments.
“We’re balancing them out as we go. As it goes with the life of a beach volleyball player, we don’t know until like the week before. 21 days out we get alerted that we’re in but we still have to figure out all the little things.”