Corona del Mar High's Ally McCormick is the Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week. (SCOTT SMELTZER, Daily Pilot / December 11, 2012)

McCormick also shines academically at CdM, where she has a cumulative grade-point average of 4.2. She's taking two Advanced Placement classes, in Environmental Science and Calculus BC.

It doesn't take a brain surgeon to know that McCormick will more than likely be done with water polo after February. She has said as much. It's something that not everyone might understand, even her coach, who played water polo and coached at UCLA and likes to slip John Wooden sayings into his dialogue.

"She's unique," Bailey said. "It's interesting."

How can someone that good at water polo just walk away?

"It's going to be really tough to give up water polo completely," McCormick said. "At the end of this year, that will really be the end of my water polo career, but I think I'm one of the few water polo players who really enjoys swimming. Even though it's hard, I really look forward to just swimming for the next four years."

For the next two months, though, the Sea Kings have McCormick. For that, they can be very grateful. Without her, they're probably 1-1 right now and not 2-0.

"She's strong in the water," Bailey said. "She's tough, and she's not afraid to get physical. It was fun to watch [against Santa Barbara]. I think she took a ton of pride in the defensive role, the defensive matchup that she had.

"It's even more remarkable that she was able to do that and find the back of the net three times."

Remarkable, sure. Surprising, probably not.

By now, no one should be surprised with the versatility of Ally McCormick.

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Ally McCormick

Born: March 27, 1995

Hometown: Newport Beach

Height: 5-foot-7

Sport: Water polo

Coach: Sam Bailey

Favorite food: Mexican food

Favorite movie: "Elf"

Favorite athletic moment: Winning the Battle of the Bay last year, 6-5, on then-senior goalie Alex Musselman's full-court shot at the buzzer.

Week in review: McCormick scored six combined goals as the short-handed Sea Kings, down three starters in one game and four in another, opened their season with an 11-10 win at Dos Pueblos on Dec. 7 and an 8-6 win at Santa Barbara the following day. The senior also shined defensively in the second game, helping hold Santa Barbara's Kelsey O'Brien scoreless.

matthew.szabo@latimes.com

Twitter: @mjszabo