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McCormick instrumental to CdM's success

Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week

Sea Kings are glad that senior, who helped key big wins in Santa Barbara, decided to return to water polo this year.

December 13, 2012|By Matt Szabo
  • Corona del Mar High's Ally McCormick is the Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week.
Corona del Mar High's Ally McCormick is the Daily… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

Ally McCormick's status seemed in doubt prior to her senior year with the Corona del Mar High girls' water polo team.

Consider that water polo is really a year-long sport at CdM, with night leagues in the spring and fall and various tournaments in the summer.

Then consider that McCormick did not touch a water polo ball from late February until September.

"I think there was some question among some of her teammates," CdM Coach Sam Bailey said. "They didn't really know where she stood with things, but I didn't really question it. She's a competitor. At the end of the season last year, I couldn't have imagined that being the last water polo match of her career ... I didn't really think she would walk away from the sport or the team at the end of last season."

Everyone knew where she was in the spring, when she did swim for CdM. She was part of two freestyle relay teams that set school records at the Pacific Coast League finals.

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Over the summer, McCormick was again working as a lifeguard in Laguna Beach. Whispers were heard on the CdM pool deck that McCormick might not play in the winter. She understood those whispers.

"When I was lifeguarding, I was never on the pool deck, so no one ever saw me," she said. "It would make sense if people would be a little skeptical."

McCormick said she briefly had doubts herself. She's going to BYU for swimming, but has no plans to continue her water polo career after high school.

"I think that there was a little bit of doubt," she said. "There was a short period of time where I wasn't completely sure if I was going to come back. But I remember telling my coaches when I came back that the real reason I came back is because of the friendships I've made here. The girls, I couldn't imagine not playing with them, and I really do love this sport. That's why it was an easy decision to want to come back."

McCormick said the way that last year ended, an 8-7 loss to rival Newport Harbor in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 title match, also did provide motivation to return.

Now, perhaps one gets a better feeling for the mind-set of Ally McCormick. She is fiercely competitive, but also very well-rounded.

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