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The Register's All-County girls water polo team. Seated, from left, Mater Dei's Grace Thawley, Los Alamitos' Bayley Weber, Laguna Beach's Aria Fischer and Orange Lutheran's Myna Simmons. Standring, from left, Corona del Mar's Chloe Harbilas, Laguna Beach's Thea Walsh, Laguna Beach coach Ethan Damato and Laguna Beach's Bella Baldridge. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen,Orange County Register/SCNG)

All-County girls water polo: First team

STAFF WRITER

The Orange County Register's All-County girls water polo team.

FIRST TEAM

ARIA FISCHER

Laguna Beach, Sr.

The Register’s player of the year.

BELLA BALDRIDGE

Laguna Beach, Sr.

The left-handed attacker dished out a school-record 91 assists and added 82 goals and 59 steals to help the Breakers claim the CIF-SS Division 1 title. The Stanford-bound Baldridge had a game-high three goals and one assist in the final. She earned All-CIF honors for a fourth consecutive year. “Bella was the next player in Orange County (after Aria Fischer),” Laguna Beach coach Ethan Damato said. “Bella had the best season of her high school career.”

CHLOE HARBILAS

Corona del Mar, Jr.

The Pacific Coast League MVP paced the Sea Kings with 83 goals and added 22 assists and 38 steals. The utility player earned All-CIF honors in Division 1, and emerged as one of the most versatile players in the county. “This year was my biggest (for) development,” said Harbilas, who had five goals and four field blocks in a first-round playoff victory against rival Newport Harbor. “I love blocking the ball. It’s almost as great as scoring.”

MYNA SIMMONS

Orange Lutheran, Sr.

The UCLA-bound attacker capped a four-year varsity career by leading the Lancers with 96 goals. The All-CIF selection in Division 1 also had 33 assists and 67 steals. Simmons and her sister, Mollie, helped establish a program that captured the Division 1 title in 2016. “Going from a lower-level team to winning CIF was definitely a major goal that I’m glad we accomplished,” Myna said.

GRACE THAWLEY

Mater Dei, Jr.

The Trinity League MVP scored 77 goals and added 36 steals to help the Monarchs recapture the league crown and reach their first Division 1 semifinal. The All-CIF pick scored four goals in a league-title clinching win against Orange Lutheran. The left-hander also earned a badge of courage for guarding Olympic gold medalist Aria Fischer in four tilts with Laguna Beach. “Super strong in the hole set in defending,” Fischer said of Thawley. “We had a great matchup throughout the season. It was really tough for both of us.”

ALL-COUNTY TEAM

THEA WALSH

Laguna Beach, Jr., GK

The first-year starter burst onto the Southern Section scene, racking up a school-record 298 saves to help the Breakers capture the Division 1 title. She was voted All-CIF and the outstanding goalie at the Irvine SoCal Championships. Walsh earned a reputation for being tough on penalty shots. “Her 5-meter (penalty) blocking skills are just fantastic,” teammate Aria Fischer said. “Whenever she blocks a penalty, there’s so much energy created for our team.”

BAYLEY WEBER

Los Alamitos, Jr.

The Sunset League MVP, known for her tough defense, collected a team-high 74 steals and added 55 goals and 30 assists to help the Griffins defend their league title. Weber had a season-high nine steals in a key league victory against Huntington Beach. The All-CIF selection also helped Los Alamitos reach the Division 1 quarterfinals, where it lost to Laguna Beach, 10-4. “I respect her greatly as a player,” Laguna Beach’s Aria Fischer said of Weber. “We always find ourselves battling and then just laughing afterward.”

Contact the writer: dalbano@scng.com


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