Maddy McLaren is super-competitive in just about everything she does.
More than just a defender for the Newport Harbor High girls' water polo team, the senior was the Sailors' leading scorer for the second straight year. More than just a player in the water, she acted as a coach at times, verbally telling her teammates what to do in certain game situations.
Not every situation was favorable for the Sailors. Not every person outside of the team believed. At the start of the regular season Newport Harbor was ranked No. 5 in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 coaches' poll — respectable, but low for the perennial powerhouse.
"The rankings totally do affect how you think about all the teams," McLaren said. "Ultimately, I wanted to win and I had that determination going. Realistically, I was confident that we were going to do the best that we could do, but I wasn't sure if that was going to be winning CIF."