McCullough wins singles and doubles titles at ITA Southeast Regional

McCullough wins singles and doubles titles at ITA Southeast Regional

SUMTER, S.C. --- Tusculum College freshman Annie McCullough won both the singles and doubles championship at the Southeast Regional Small College ITA/Oracle Women's Tennis Championships, hosted by the Palmetto Tennis Center this weekend.

McCullough won the Flight B singles title on Monday afternoon, and teamed with senior Sarah Baker to capture the Flight B doubles crown on Sunday. In 21 matches between singles and doubles during the four-day tournament, the four Tusculum singles entries and two Pioneer doubles teams combined for 17 victories.

McCullough opened her pursuit of the Flight B singles title by defeating Rebecca Weaver of Erskine 6-0, 6-0 in her opening match on Friday. On Saturday, the Belfast, Northern Ireland native beat Maria Puerta of Young Harris 6-0, 6-1 in the Round of 32 then defeated Magan Head of Francis Marion 6-2, 6-0 in the Round of 16 on Sunday. Later Sunday afternoon, McCullough was a 6-3, 6-1 winner over Felicitas Runkel of Flagler to advance to Monday's semifinals.

In the semifinals, McCullough continued her winning ways by defeating Kirsa Utech of Columbus State 6-1, 6-1 to set up a matchup with Holly Bennett of North Georgia in the finals. After winning the first set 7-6 (8-6 tiebreaker), McCullough won the second set 6-2 to take home the Flight B singles title.

In doubles, the team of McCullough and Baker won five matches in span of three days, needing a tiebreaker to earn the victory in both the semifinals and in the championship match. The duo opened play with an 8-1 win over Jennifer Ball and Aimee Dorley of Southern Wesleyan on Friday, then beat Bennett and Karina Gurgenyan of North Georgia 8-6 in the Round of 16. In the quarterfinals on Saturday, McCullough and Baker downed Sarah Elliott and Suzanna Mickey of Coker 8-1 to move into Sunday's semifinal match.

McCullough and Baker were taken to a tiebreaker by Puerta and Ana Rodriguez of Young Harris, but prevailed 7-4 to win the match by a 9-8 margin and move into the finals. In the championship match, Baker and McCullough survived three match points before going to another tiebreaker against the Flagler team of Kelly Burge and Laura Kelly. In the tiebreaker, the Pioneers rolled to a 7-1 win to take the Flight B doubles title.

In singles play, Baker picked up a pair of wins to advance to the Round of 16 in Flight B. She beat Chloe Elward of Lander 6-3, 6-1 in the Round of 64, then defeated Jennifer Byrd of Mount Olive 6-1, 6-4 in the round of 32 before being eliminated.

In Flight A, Franziska Funke and Katarina Majorova competed in singles and also teamed up to play doubles for the Pioneers. Funke defeated Hannah Serdinia of Georgia College 6-3, 6-1 in the opening round, while Majorova opened play with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Merel van Zutphen of Montevallo. Both players were eliminated in the Round of 32 by seeded opponents.

In doubles, Funke and Majorova defeated Stella Di Michele and Julie Gonzalez of Mount Olive 8-2 in their opening match and downed Nadine Tusiama and Olivera Veskovac of USC Aiken 8-1 in the Round of 16, but lost to the #4 seeded team from Francis Marion in the quarterfinals by an 8-6 margin.

The Pioneers continue their fall schedule on Saturday, October 8 at 10 a.m. with a match against Virginia-Wise at the Nichols Tennis Complex.