SKILLMAN, N.J. --- The Tusculum women's tennis team is one of 93 colleges and universities in NCAA Division II to be recognized to the 2016-2017 Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-Academic Team. The Pioneers also had seven of their team members earn ITA Scholar Athlete distinction including: Sarah Baker, Brittani Brooks, Jule Brass, Franziska Funke, Katarina Majorova, Annie McCullough and Lyndsey Pulliam.
The ITA All-Academic Team Award is presented to any ITA program that has above a 3.2 cumulative grade point average. ITA Scholar Athletes are student-athletes who are a varsity letter-winner, have a GPA of 3.5 or higher for the current academic year and have been enrolled at their present school for at least two semesters.
The Pioneers recorded a 3.776 GPA for 2016-2017 and 3.660 cumulative GPA overall, which is the best of Tusculum's sponsored sports. TC was one of seven South Atlantic Conference women's tennis programs to earn ITA All-Academic Team distinction this year. This marks Tusculum's sixth consecutive ITA All-Academic Team Award and 11th time in the last 14 years.
The TC men's tennis team also earned ITA All-Academic Team honors, making Tusculum one of only 47 DII colleges and universities to earn this award for both the men and women's programs.
Baker, a native of Marietta, Georgia, graduated from Tusculum in May with honors and finished with a 3.86 cumulative GPA while majoring in pre-veterinary medicine (3.90 in 2016-17). She is a member of the SAC Commissioner's Honor Roll, President's List, Charles Oliver Gray Honors List, Dean's List and the Tusculum Athletic Director's Honor Roll. She was also the 2013-2014 recipient of the Tusculum Freshman of the Year Academic Award and earned a spot on the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team as a sophomore.
On the court, Baker went 8-4 in doubles play and moved her career singles record to 39-33 as she garners ITA Scholar Athlete honors for a fourth straight year.
Funke, a rising senior from Bochum, Germany, returns to the ITA Scholar Athlete Team for a third time. She has a cumulative GPA of 3.99, including 3.97 in 2016-2017 while majoring in psychology. She is a member of the Dean's List, President's List, Charles Oliver Gray Honors List, SAC Commissioner's Honor Roll and the Tusculum Athletic Director's Honor Roll. She was named a recipient of the 2015 Tusculum Freshman of the Year Academic Award and the 2016 Tusculum Student-Athlete Academic Achievement Award.
She earned All-South Atlantic Conference first team honors in both singles and doubles play while posting an 18-8 record in singles, including a sterling 9-1 league worksheet. She went a perfect 3-0 in both singles and doubles in Tusculum's SAC Tournament run. For her efforts, she was named the SAC Tournament Most Valuable Player. She owns an impressive 54-11 career singles record with the Pioneers.
Earlier this summer, she was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America® second team for a second straight year, becoming the first two-time Academic All-American® in program history.
Rising junior Jule Brass earns ITA Scholar Athlete status for a second straight season. Brass, a native of Duisburg, Germany, boasts a 3.98 GPA while majoring in business administration and management. She earned the 2016 Tusculum Freshman of the Year Academic Award and is a member of the SAC Commissioner's Honor Roll, Dean's List and Athletic Director's Honor Roll.
On the court, Brass went 4-2 in singles and 15-5 in doubles, including 5-2 in league play with doubles partner Annie McCullough. In her two seasons at Tusculum, she is 14-4 in singles and 18-6 in career doubles.
Brooks, a rising sophomore from Allen, Texas, posted a 3.92 GPA last year while majoring in psychology. She is a member of the Tusculum Athletic Director's Honor Roll, SAC Commissioner's Honor Roll, Dean's List, President's List and Charles Oliver Gray Honors List.
Brooks went 11-9 in singles play, but shine in league action where she accounted for a 7-2 record. She also went 20-8 in doubles, including 18-7 with doubles partner Amber Lackey (9-1 in SAC play).
Majorova, a rising sophomore from Martin, Slovakia, owns a perfect 4.00 GPA while majoring in business administration. She was the co-recipient of the 2017 Tusculum Freshman of the Year Academic Award and is also a member of the Athletic Director's Honor Roll, SAC Commissioner's Honor Roll, Dean's List, President's List and Charles Oliver Gray Honors List.
Majorova was named the 2017 SAC Freshman of the Year and also earned first-team All-SAC accolades in both singles and doubles. She played at number-one singles and finished with a 15-7 record for the Pioneers, including an 8-2 mark in conference play. Majorova was ranked 15th in singles in the ITA Southeast Region during the season, and posted a 2-3 record against Division II regionally-ranked opponents. Majorova also had a 1-2 record against Division I opponents, including a 6-0, 6-0 victory against Western Carolina.
McCullough, a rising sophomore from Belfast, Northern Ireland, finished her rookie campaign with a 3.97 GPA while majoring in chemistry. She is a member of the Athletic Director's Honor Roll, SAC Commissioner's Honor Roll, Dean's List, President's List and Charles Oliver Gray Honors List.
McCullough compiled a 20-4 singles record while playing primarily at No. 3 singles for the Pioneers while garner All-SAC honorable mention status. She went 8-2 in conference matches with seven of her victories coming in straight sets. She was also the winner of Flight B at the ITA Southeast Regional last October, and had a 4-2 record in matches against regionally-ranked teams. McCullough also won two of three matches against Division I opponents, with her only loss coming in a third-set tiebreaker. She also went 20-9 in doubles play, including 12-5 with doubles partner Jule Brass.
Pulliam, a rising sophomore from Suwanee, Georgia, has a 3.80 GPA and is majoring in biology with a concentration in pre-medicine. She is a member of the Athletic Director's Honor Roll, SAC Commissioner's Honor Roll, Dean's List, President's List and Charles Oliver Gray Honors List. On the court, she went 3-1 in singles and was a perfect 2-0 in doubles competition.
The Pioneers posted a 20-7 overall record and finished runner-up in the South Atlantic Conference before reeling off three straight wins to capture the program's fourth SAC Tournament title and advanced to the NCAA II Tournament for a school-record ninth time.
TC has recorded 17 consecutive winning seasons and has posted an impressive 112-21 overall record over the last six years.