INDIANAPOLIS --- Tusculum University women's tennis standout Annie McCullough was one of 11 South Atlantic Conference student-athletes among the record 605 female college athletes nominated by NCAA member schools for the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year Award. The nominees came from all three NCAA divisions with 126 from Division II.
Rooted in Title IX, the NCAA Woman of the Year Award was established in 1991 to recognize graduating female student-athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.
Also representing the SAC are: Hannah Baird (Coker), Emily Conlin (Anderson), Allison Conn (Queens), Abbey Frail (Wingate), Jesse French (UVA Wise), Alexy Mollenhauer (Anderson), Mary Northcutt (Carson-Newman), Ainee O'Connor (Lenoir-Rhyne), Christina Shimshock (Lenoir-Rhyne) and Michela Verpeli (Wingate).
Next, conferences will select up to two nominees each from the pool of school nominees. Then, the Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will choose the Top 30 honorees — 10 from each division.
The selection committee will determine the top three honorees in each division from the Top 30 and announce the nine finalists in September. From those nine finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics then will choose the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year.
The Top 30 honorees will be celebrated and the NCAA Woman of the Year will be named at the annual award ceremony this fall.
McCullough graduated from Tusculum with a 3.99 cumulative grade point average and earned her bachelor's degree in chemistry. She was named the South Atlantic Conference Women's Tennis Scholar Athlete of the Year for a second straight season and also returned to the CoSIDA Academic All-America® team once again.
The Belfast, Northern Ireland native is a member of the SAC Commissioner's Honor Roll, Tusculum Athletic Director's Honor Roll, Dean's List, President's List and Charles Oliver Gray Honors List. She has garnered ITA Scholar Athlete three times.
Annie, along with her twin sister Caitlin, became the first student-athletes in TU women's tennis history to earn NCAA Division II All-America distinction by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). The duo was one of 16 teams honored in doubles, while Annie was among 23 student-athletes recognized in singles play.
The McCulloughs finished as the Division II runner-up in doubles at the ITA Cup in Rome, Georgia and ended the fall with a 10-3 overall record. They concluded the fall season ranked second in the Oracle/ITA Division II Women's Tennis National rankings, and had a 4-2 record against ranked opponents during the fall. The McCulloughs did not appear in any matches during the spring due to injuries, and have a 54-12 record in three seasons together at Tusculum thus far.
In singles, McCullough went 10-3 during the fall to boost her career singles record (dual matches and tournaments) to 91-15. She was ranked seventh in Division II in singles at the conclusion of the fall portion of the season.