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McCaig key in leading MSU to nationals

• CHS grad’s singles victory propels Mustangs to NCAA D-II tour.

McCaig key in leading MSU to nationals

Nolan McCaig (middle) and his Midwestern State University men’s tennis teammates celebrate following their 5-1 win over Metro State-Denver at the South Central Regional.


POSTED May 8, 2018 4:43 p.m.
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Former Ceres High varsity boys tennis star Nolan McCaig has made a name for himself at the collegiate level.

Nolan helped Midwestern State University-Texas secure a berth to the NCAA Division-II Championship Tournament last week.

McCaig's 6-4, 6-0 win over Alejandro Martinez propelled the No. 16 Mustangs past No. 38 Metro State-Denver at the South Central Regional on April 30 in Wichita Falls.

"There really wasn't much pressure," said McCaig, a freshman standout. "We all expected to make it there. We have a strong team. If we keep the right mindset, we can do really good things in the tournament."

Nolan's straight-set victory in No. 4 singles play gave Midwestern State University an insurmountable 5-1 lead.

"It's an amazing feeling," McCaig said. "Winning that match gives me a lot of confidence going into the NCAA Tournament. I started a little slow. I got into a groove in the second set and dominated. It's a memorable win even though it wasn't a tight match."

McCaig improved to 16-6 on the year in singles action.

He has an identical record in doubles.

"I'm not satisfied with how I'm playing," Nolan said. "I know I can get better."

Midwestern State University improved its overall record to 21-5.

The Mustangs won Lone Star Conference tournament and regular season championships.

"It's pretty exciting," said McCaig, who was named LSC Freshman of the Year. "Our team is doing pretty good. Our coach has trained us hard to get us to where we are. It's been a grind. The most enjoyable part is being close as a team. We're always together. It's been fun to get to know everybody."

Nolan tops Ceres High's list of greatest tennis players.

Seeded first, McCaig dominated all three of his opponents on his way to capturing the title at the 2017 Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II Individual Singles Championships.

McCaig defeated River Valley's Luvdeep Bal 6-3, 6-2 in the finals.

He also collected victories against Oakmont's Marshall Comia (6-1, 6-1) and Laguna Creek's Henry Huang (6-2, 6-2).

The experience of finishing in the top four three times-including second twice-at the section tournament fueled Nolan's desire to reach the pinnacle of his sport.

McCaig won all 23 of his matches during his senior year

He claimed his fourth consecutive WAC singles crown.

Nolan was voted conference MVP for the fourth consecutive year.

McCaig's career record while starring at No. 1 singles was 100-4.

He had a perfect 63-0 mark against WAC opponents.

McCaig led Ceres High to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III crown in 2015.

The Bulldogs also claimed three WAC titles and participated in the playoffs four times.

Ceres High (14-1) placed first in conference play with a near-perfect record in 2017.

"My style of play is the same," McCaig said. "I'm able to get a lot of balls back and make other guys work harder. I'm willing to stay longer on the court than my opponents."

Nolan was rarely tested in high school.

"I have to push myself now to play my best tennis," he said.

Midwestern State University will face Bluefield State (16-2) in the opening round of the NCAA Division-II Tournament today in Arizona.

"Other teams should be scared to play us," McCaig said.

 

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