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CHS teammates share MVP tennis award
CVs Zigala, Castillo first-team honorees
Alexis Zigala, Central Valleys top singles player, was named to the WAC First Team. Zigala posted a 7-6 record during his final season with the Hawks. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High varsity boys tennis standouts Nolan McCaig and Julio Ochoa were named Western Athletic Conference co-MVPs in a vote by the league's head coaches this past month at Modesto Fitness & Racquet Club.

"I'm really happy," McCaig said.

"It feels nice, obviously," Ochoa stated.

Julio, who missed part of the season with right shoulder and elbow injuries, compiled a perfect 5-0 record while starring at No. 1 singles.

Ochoa, a junior, was selected WAC MVP for the third year in a row.

Older sister Marifer was also a three-time winner of the award.

Nolan, a freshman, split playing time at No. 1 and 2 singles.

The 2014 WAC singles champion posted a 13-0 record in league play.

"He had an unbelievable season," Bulldogs' head coach Bryan Harden said. "His game went through the roof."

Ceres High's Alick Liang, Chase Harden and Rene Cortes, and Central Valley's Alexis Zigala and Edgar Castillo all earned first-team all-conference honors.

Ochoa, McCaig, Liang, Harden and Cortes helped lead the Bulldogs to their third straight WAC title (12-0).

Liang, a senior, finished 12-1 in league play.

Alick, Ceres High's No. 3 singles player, won three of four matches on his way to a runner-up finish at the WAC singles tournament.

Harden, a junior, was unbeaten (12-0) at No. 4 singles.

Cortes, a junior, won 13 of his 14 matches. Rene, Ceres High's No. 5 singles player, advanced to the quarterfinals of the WAC singles tourney.

Zigala and Castillo filled key roles while propelling the Hawks to a third-place finish in the WAC (9-4) and their first-ever Sac-Joaquin Section playoff appearance.

"They put in a ton of work during the summer," Central Valley head coach Mike Rodriguez said.

Alexis had a 7-6 mark at No. 1 singles.

"I'm really excited for him," Rodriguez said. "He was around when we weren't very good. He helped jumpstart our program going in the right direction."

Zigala made up one-half of the Hawks' No. 3 doubles team his freshman year.

"He got better each year and eventually became our No. 1 player," Rodriguez said.

Edgar, a junior, won eight of 13 matches while splitting time at No. 2 and 3 singles.

"He plays smart," Rodriguez said. "He hits the ball a lot better. He's more consistent. He's probably our smartest player. He figured out how to play strategy-wise. He's going to have a stronger year next season as long as he puts in the time during the summer."