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Runner-up finish for CHS netters
CHS boys singles player, doubles team advance to finals of Division-II Championships
Bulldog varsity boys tennis teammates Chase Harden, Nolan McCaig and Julio Ochoa brought home silver medals from the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II championships. McCaig competed in the singles bracket. Harden and Ochoa teamed up in doubles. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High varsity boys tennis players Nolan McCaig, Julio Ochoa and Chase Harden brought home second-place medals from the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II Championships, staged May 8 and 9 at Johnson Ranch Racquet Club in Roseville.

"Everybody was talking about Ceres up there," Bulldogs head coach Bryan Harden said. "We were the buzz."

McCaig advanced to the finals of the singles portion of the tournament.

The standout freshman compiled a 3-1 record on his way to a runner-up finish.

Seeded second, McCaig lost 6-0, 6-1 to No.1 seed Sean Alves of Casa Roble.

Nolan defeated third-seeded Scott Putty of Bella Vista 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in the semifinals, Manteca's Yok-Jing Ma 6-2, 6-0 in the second round and American Canyon's Aabjeet Grewal 6-1, 6-1 in the first round.

"He had the best singles season ever in Ceres history," said Bryan Harden, tennis coach at Ceres High for 24 years. "He played phenomenal."

Nolan (30-1) lost just one match this year.

He posted a perfect 13-0 record en route to claiming the WAC singles crown.

"He had an unbelievable season," coach Harden said. "His game progressed so well throughout the year. There's nothing he can't do."

Brothers Julio and Luis Ochoa are considered Ceres High's top male tennis players.

Julio's won three Western Athletic Conference titles, including two for singles and one for doubles. He's been voted league Most Valuable Player three times as well.

Luis, a 2010 Ceres High grad, claimed a pair of league titles and MVP awards.

"Nolan's top three already," coach Harden said when asked about McCaig's place in Bulldog history. "His biggest attributes are his quickness and toughness. His ball retrieving skills are unbelievable. He gets to everything. He can play three or four different styles. That's huge."

Ochoa and Harden lost in straight sets (6-1, 6-2) to top-seeded Kaydn Silva and Jack Lonergan of Rio Americano during their doubles finals matchup.

Julio and Chase defeated Oakmont's Johann Montecillo and Marshall Comia 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinals, Yuba City's Jared Seamons and Jordan Kuphaldt 6-0, 6-2 in the second round and Pioneer's Kyle Bates and Alec Haas 6-1, 6-1 in the first round.

Ochoa and Harden were seeded second.

"They played exceptional," coach Harden said. "They dominated up to the finals match."

Bulldog senior Alick Liang posted a 1-1 record on his way to a top-eight finish in singles play at the Division-II tourney.

Liang defeated Vallejo's Arturo Posada 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 in the first round.

He lost 6-2, 6-3 to Florin's Cody Duong.

"Alick played great," coach Harden said.