Beach Bytes: Americans Sweep Gold in Jamaica NORCECA, Claes News
Corinne Quiggle had played 33 professional tournaments prior to this fall. By any measure, she was successful, likely more successful than her own expectations.
Yet in spite of tripling her AVP prize money this season, her first with Amanda Dowdy; winning a silver medal in only her second FIVB, a two-star in Cambodia; and taking another silver in a NORCECA in Aguascalientes, Mexico, she lacked one thing: a win.
In a matter of three weeks, she got two.
On the first weekend of November, Quiggle went to Hato Mayor, Dominican Republic, for a NORCECA with Falyn Fonoimoana. In her first tournament playing as partners with Fonoimoana, Quiggle got her win.
Then she did it again.
On Sunday, this time in Jamaica, Quiggle and Fonoimoana won once more, beating the same Cuban team of Lidiannis Echeverria and Yanisleidis Sanchez they met in the finals in the Dominican Republic.
“For it to be back to back is super exciting,” Quiggle said. “I’m happy with the season I’ve had and to end like this is very rewarding. It’s super motivating for me to work for next year and hopefully keep moving in the right direction.
“Falyn was awesome to play with — lots of laughs for sure. She made defense very simple, either with her serve or block, and I’m so thankful she agreed to play in these tournaments with me. I’m so happy I decided to extended the season. NORCECAs are good tournaments to keep points as they don’t take away from FIVB and can only add, so it gives me room when the year lapses to get into good tournaments next year.”
Snow volleyball in Steamboat Springs: The United States, over time, has proven to be talented at every iteration of volleyball. It has won Olympic gold in indoors and on the beach. It is home to the most dominant beach team in history in Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May Treanor. And it is now home to the World Champion fours team, with the inaugural World Championships being won by Taylor Crabb, Brian Cook, Casey Patterson, Madison McKibbin, Riley McKibbin and Troy Field.
Who knew, though, that Americans would also be so good on the…snow? Karissa Cook, Allie Wheeler, Katie Spieler and Emily Hartong have medaled in three of four snow events they’ve played, including a gold last December in Moscow. Now the self-dubbed “Snow Dogs” will get another crack at it on the final weekend in March, as Steamboat Springs, Colorado will be home to the first FIVB snow volleyball event held in the United States.
Registration is available for $300 per team at snowvolleyusa.com.
New Cal Poly facility: The Mustangs held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday, unveiling their new $3 million, on-campus, five-court beach volleyball facility.
The 35,000 square-foot complex seats up to 250 spectators and includes a state-of-the-art LED video scoreboard.
The Mustangs are coming off their best-ever season, winning the Big West title and finishing 25-12 while being ranked inside the AVCA poll’s top 10.
Big West Coach of the Year Todd Rogers was excited about the new facility.
“The support of the donors and administration in getting this done so quickly has been simply amazing. I look forward to practicing on the courts and even more so in the spring when we will be competing on them.”
The new beach complex provides Cal Poly beach a competitive advantage, Rogers said.
“These courts are a huge recruiting advantage. Not many schools have their own beach facilities on campus and very few have five courts to be able to practice and play on. The courts being nestled right up to the training room, weight room, locker room and beach office will make the players’ lives much easier. It is like a one stop shop for all the amenities needed for a beach player.”
adidas sponsors Claes: This year has been, by any measure, a landmark year for Kelly Claes. She and Sarah Sponcil are the third-ranked team in the U.S. Olympic race, and she has risen up the ranks as one of the best blockers in the world.
Now she has the backing of one of the most recognizable businesses in the world: Adidas. Last week, Claes announced a sponsorship deal she signed with Adidas.
“I look forward to being a part of the 3-stripe family as the year winds down and the push for Tokyo 2020 kicks in to high gear!” she wrote on Instagram.
This season, Claes and Sponcil competed in 16 FIVBs and five AVPs, making for one of the busiest in the country, particularly considering that Sponcil was coming off a National Championship season at UCLA. Four times they made at least the semifinals on the AVP, and they brought home three medals from the FIVB.
That, and a nice sponsorship deal heading into the holiday season.
Team Slaes debuts first song: Following their first team win at the p1440 Pro Challenge, Sarah Sponcil and Kelly Claes, aka Team Slaes, dropped their first song on social media Tuesday.
The song is a beach volleyball parody of the “New Rules” song by Dua Lipa.
Sponcil and Claes use their travel time creatively to write songs, and have promised to release several more.
Roberts proposes to Race: One of the great eras in beach volleyball has, alas, come to an end. The bachelor life of Adam Roberts is over.
It has been for quite some time now, as he and fellow beach volleyball player and former Wisconsin cheerleader Jade Race have been dating for more than a year. But still, the ring, which he put on her finger a month ago, certainly does make it official.
Big congrats to Roberts, who enjoyed an excellent, resurgent season at age 43. Partnered with the young and promising Andy Benesh, Roberts made main draws in Hermosa and Manhattan Beach, claiming seventh in the former after authoring the upset of the tournament, over Stafford Slick and Billy Allen. The soon-to-be Mrs. Roberts had a career-high 21st in AVP Hawai’i with Allison Spurrier to finish the season.
AVP America, Rox Volleyball series to merge: The former Rox VB series and its national annual tournament will become part of the AVP America program.
Rox volleyball will be the title sponsor of the AVP America qualifying series feeding into the newly formed AVP America Junior Nationals Tournament and showcase in July of 2020.
“Rox Volleyball values strong partnerships and that has helped solidify us as the apparel brand of both indoor and beach volleyball. We originally created the RoxVB Series as a way to bring the best players and their families together, when there was a need in the marketplace. With the great steps taken by AVP America, its time to merge the RoxVB Series and AVP America Junior Nationals. Volleyball is a close-knit sport and we are proud that our organizations continue to work together to grow the game we all love,” said Troy Olson, Owner Rox Volleyball.
“We can help each other in the fields we each excel at. Rox has the volleyball gear that is needed and desired in outdoor volleyball communities everywhere. We found our match,” commented Carly Gant, AVP America Director.
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