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Girls' Water Polo: Quinn inspirational for CdM

Sophomore center, a varsity call-up for CIF, has earned her 'fighter' nickname after her dad passed away.

February 22, 2013|By Matt Szabo
  • Ashley Quinn, a varsity call-up, has provided inspiration for the Corona del Mar High girls' water polo team. Her father passed away Jan. 27.
Ashley Quinn, a varsity call-up, has provided inspiration… (KEVIN CHANG, Daily…)

The Corona del Mar High girls' water polo team always has team shirts for the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs.

Most of the time the shirts have funny or silly words on the back, nicknames to describe the players. But for sophomore Ashley Quinn, the word on the back says so much about her.

"Fighter."

Quinn is a key part of the Sea Kings' future. She was a junior varsity center this year for CdM, and a varsity call-up for the playoffs.

But she also is an inspiration for this year's varsity squad as well. CdM Coach Sam Bailey said Quinn has definitely earned that "fighter" nickname.

She'll be on the bench Saturday night at 6:30, when CdM (26-4) tries to win its first Division 1 title against rival Newport Harbor at Irvine's Woollett Aquatics Center. She'll be wearing cap No. 17 and cheering hard for her teammates.

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There is nowhere else that Quinn would rather be. Life has been difficult for her since her father, John Carter, passed away on Jan. 27. On the Sunday before finals week at CdM, Ashley had to deal with something much more stressful.

"He's been suffering for years with melanoma (skin) cancer," Ashley Quinn said. "It was just the end of it. We've tried every treatment and everything. He kept on fighting.

"It was really hard, but he always said, 'I'll keep fighting, I'm going to get through this.' He pushed us more to just live a normal life. We didn't really think about it that much, then it happened. He just always fought, long and hard."

John Carter was survived by his wife, Laura, and Ashley is the oldest of three children. Not only has she had to deal with losing her dad, but she has tried to be a good role model for her younger sisters Savannah, 10, and Lauren, 11.

"It's been really hard, but I stay strong in front of them," Ashley Quinn said. "I'm really pushing them to stay focused on school and stuff."

Ashley knows her father is still watching her with pride. She described him as an outgoing man, who always pushed her to do her best. There are also videos of John Carter, which have been inspirational for Ashley.

"My dad's best friend, he made videos of him, because he knew that it was almost time for him to go," Ashley Quinn said. "One of the biggest things that he said was that if I'm ever having trouble, to just look up at the sky, make [the cross] sign and just kiss up to the sky," she said. "He'll be smiling, watching over me to push me to do better. [I do it] everyday, actually."

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