It wasn’t an easy decision for Ceres High grad Nolan McCaig when he decided to leave Midwestern State University-Texas.
A two-year standout with the school’s NCAA Division-II men’s tennis program, McCaig was granted his release in August so he could transfer to another college.
“It was tough telling my teammates I wasn’t going to return,” he said. “We got really close. I’m going to miss them. They’re going to miss me.”
McCaig reached out to a handful of Division-I schools prior to committing to Southern Utah.
“It’s the best decision for me moving forward in both athletics and academics,” he said. “Playing pro tennis has always been my dream. Transferring to a Division-I school will test my abilities. Every match, I’m going to be challenged. It will make me better in the long run. Utah also has my major (criminal justice-forensic science emphasis).”
McCaig enjoyed a success-filled career at Midwestern State University.
He helped the Mustangs secure back-to-back berths to the NCAA Division-II Championship Tournament. Midwestern State also won a pair of Lone Star Conference Tournament titles. The Mustangs had a combined record of 42-12.
McCaig and No. 1 doubles partner Dillon Pineda were named to the LSC First Team for the second year in a row in 2019. The duo amassed an 18-4 record.
McCaig had a 15-9 mark in singles play.
McCaig won the 2018 LSC Freshman of the Year award.
He compiled a 16-6 record at singles.
He garnered LSC honorable-mention accolades.
McCaig and Pineda earned first-team, all-conference honors for their outstanding play in doubles.
Nolan and Dillon compiled a 16-9 record. Three of their victories came against nationally-ranked opponents.
“It’s something I’ll look back on and always remember,” McCaig said while talking about the time he spent at Midwestern State. “I’m going to miss them. They’re going to miss me.”
McCaig moved to Utah just before the start of the 2019-20 school year.
“I’ve been here for a couple of months,” he said. “I’m really comfortable with everybody, kind of like how I was at my last school. The big change is the weather. It’s been pretty cold lately. I have to get some warmer clothes.”
McCaig made his debut for Southern Utah this fall.
McCaig and his Thunderbird teammates practiced up to 20 hours a week.
“Playing at a higher altitude is different. You have to adjust your shots. I had to increase my string tension on my tennis racket from 57 to 59 pounds.”Nolan McCaig
“Playing at a higher altitude is different,” he said. “You have to adjust your shots. I had to increase my string tension on my tennis racket from 57 to 59 pounds.”
McCaig competed in three tournaments.
He won all four of his singles matches at the Sept. 20-22 Boise State Dar Walters Fall Classic.
McCaig and his doubles partner Jake Williams bested two of their three opponents.
McCaig and Conor Tordoff posted a 3-1 record at the Oct. 11-13 University of Utah Invitational.
McCaig and Tordoff won one of three matches at Air Force’s Sept. 27-29 Bedford Cup.
McCaig was beaten twice in singles play.
“I did decent,” he said. “I started off good and slowed down a bit. There’s definitely a lot of room to improve.”
The spring season for team tennis will get underway in January.
“Playing different teams and people excites me,” he said. “I feel I’m going to do great things.”
McCaig had a busy offseason.
Nolan and his younger brother Coby, a freshman tennis player at UOP in Stockton, competed in tournaments in France throughout the month of July.
They were named the USTA NorCal Men’s Open Division Doubles Team of the Year for the second straight summer.
“A lot of the tournaments we played in were on red clay,” Nolan McCaig said. “It was a cool experience for me and my brother.”
McCaig tops Ceres High’s list of greatest tennis players.
Seeded first, Nolan dominated all three of his opponents on his way to capturing the title at the 2017 Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II Individual Singles Championships.
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 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 captured three WAC titles and participated in the playoffs four times.