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CdM’s Sophie Wallace earns CIF Division 1 Player of the Year award in girls’ water polo

Sophie Wallace
Corona del Mar’s Sophie Wallace, shown playing against Orange Lutheran on Feb. 13, helped the Sea Kings reach their first CIF Southern Section Division 1 title game since 2013.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Corona del Mar High senior utility player Sophie Wallace earned CIF Southern Section Division 1 Player of the Year honors in girls’ water polo after helping the Sea Kings make their first Division 1 title match since 2013.

Laguna Beach’s Ethan Damato was the Division 1 Coach of the Year. He guided the Breakers to the Division 1 title.

Other local All-CIF Division 1 honorees included Breakers junior attacker Tea Poljak, sophomore utility player Nicole Struss and sophomore left-handed attacker Emma Lineback, as well as CdM junior goalkeeper Maya Avital and Newport Harbor senior defender Brooke Banta.

Huntington Beach freshman utility player Shanna Davidson earned All-CIF Division 2 recognition, as did Edison junior center Delaney Lewellyn in Division 4 and Estancia junior utility player Sydni White in Division 7.

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Tea Poljak had yet to score in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 girls’ water polo title match, deep into sudden-death overtime.

The Stanford-bound Wallace had a team-best 64 goals, 19 assists and 35 steals as a senior for CdM (20-9), which finished second in the Surf League and advanced to the Division 1 final before losing 9-8 in sudden-death overtime to Laguna Beach. Wallace scored the go-ahead goal in a 7-5 upset win at No. 3-seeded Goleta Dos Pueblos in the Division 1 quarterfinals, and the game-winning goal in an 8-7 upset over No. 2 Orange Lutheran in the semifinals.

Avital made 215 saves for CdM, including 18 in the Division 1 title match.

Poljak shared the team lead in goals for Surf League champion Laguna Beach (31-2), with 48. She added a team-best 38 assists and 35 steals. Struss, the Surf League MVP, had 44 goals, 26 assists and 28 steals.

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Lineback emerged in the second half of the season and scored three times for the Breakers in the Division 1 final. She finished the season with 39 goals, 25 assists and 29 steals.

Banta, bound for UCLA, led Newport Harbor (18-12) with 37 field blocks and 49 steals, helping the Sailors finish third in the Surf League and seventh in Division 1.

Davidson helped Huntington Beach (18-11) win the Wave League title and advance to the quarterfinals of the Division 2 playoffs before losing 6-4 at San Clemente.

Lewellyn helped Edison (14-16) finish in second in the Wave League. The Chargers advanced to the Division 4 quarterfinals before losing 8-7 at Dana Hills.

White’s leadership guided Estancia (14-15) to a third-place finish in the Orange Coast League. The Eagles lost 13-4 at Katella in the first round of the Division 7 playoffs.

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