The start to the 2014 portion of the 2013-14 school year started with a bang for Laguna Beach High athletics. That beginning, it turned out, was the jump start to a big finish to the athletic year for Laguna teams.
Below are some of the key highlights turned in by Laguna teams and athletes in the second-half of the school year.
January through June
Girls' Water Polo
The Breakers opened their season the same way they ended it: at No. 1.
The program captured its first CIF Southern Section Division 1 championship by taking down a postseason nemesis, Newport Harbor in the division final. Laguna took the crown by defeating the seventh-seeded Sailors, 10-7, at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatic Center in Irvine.
The Breakers cruised to victory throughout most of the season. They rolled through Orange Coast League play en route to another league championship, went 30-1 overall and ended the season on a school-record 21-game winning streak.
The Breakers reached the title game by handling Los Alamitos, 12-5, in the semifinal round.
They won the title in their first Division 1 finals appearance. They went 3-0 during the season against Newport Harbor which had ended the Breakers' season in postseason play the two previous years.
Junior Makenzie Fischer, a member of the USA Water Polo U.S. Women's Senior National Team, scored five goals and had five steals in the Division 1 title match. Fischer would not only be named the MVP of the Orange Coast League, but she took the same honor on the 2014 All-CIF Southern Section Division 1 Girls' Water Polo Team.
In June, Fischer would be named Laguna's Female Athlete of the Year.
"It's hard to put it into words [what winning the title means]," Laguna Coach Ethan Damato said. "I think today's (CIF title) just about this group of girls and their accomplishments. It's been an amazing ride, an amazing season. I'm just really proud of the group of girls I have this year.
"Our motto this year has been, 'Do what we do.' The girls have struck to that all year."
A strong finish to the season put the Breakers in the program's record book.
The Breakers turned the corner in its season during Orange Coast League competition and went on to win the league title. They took a No. 10 ranking into the CIF-SS Division 4 playoffs where they won their opener by blanking Ontario Chaffey, 2-0. The win took their unbeaten streak to nine games.
That streak ended in the next round, a close, 1-0 home loss to fourth-ranked Phelan Serrano.
The Breakers turned in a 13-6-4 campaign, the 13 wins establishing a new program record for victories in a single season. In their final nine games, they allowed only two goals.
Senior Johana Abarca was named MVP of the Orange Coast League.