INDIANAPOLIS --- Tusculum University women's tennis student-athlete Annie McCullough has been named one of the top-30 finalists for the 2019-2020 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.
She becomes the first Tusculum student-athlete to advance this far in the NCAA Woman of the Year balloting. There were a record 605 nominations submitted nationally for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award, and McCullough is one of only 10 Division II finalists to advance to the top-30 ballot.
McCullough was tabbed the recipient of the South Atlantic Conference International Woman of the Year Award earlier this summer.
McCullough graduated from Tusculum last May with a 3.985 cumulative grade point average and earned her bachelor's degree, majoring in chemistry with a minor in mathematics. She was named the SAC Women's Tennis Scholar Athlete of the Year for a second straight season and also returned to the CoSIDA Academic All-America® team in back-to-back years, earning first team honors this season.
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 accolades every season she has been at Tusculum and has been tabbed to the Division II Athletic Directors Association Honor Roll in each of the last two years.
She was one of the founding members of the hydrogen evolution research program at Tusculum, which is designed to develop a catalyst for use in solar energy applications. She was the recipient of the TU Senior Key Award for Excellence in Chemistry in 2020 and the Northeast Tennessee Section of the American Chemical Society Outstanding Graduating Senior Award.
Annie, along with her twin sister Caitlin, became the first student-athletes in Tusculum women's tennis history to earn NCAA Division II All-America distinction by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). The McCullough duo was one of 16 teams honored in doubles, while Annie was among 23 student-athletes recognized in singles competition.
The McCulloughs finished as the national runner-up in doubles at the ITA Division II Cup and ended the fall season with a 10-3 overall record. The sister duo concluded the fall campaign ranked No. 2 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 boast an impressive 54-12 record in three seasons together at Tusculum thus far.
In singles competition, McCullough went 10-3 during the fall 2019 season 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.
During her stellar career, she has been named the University's Female Athlete of the Year on two occasions (2017-18 & 2018-19). She has earned All-Conference in each of her TU seasons including 2019 when she was named the SAC Women's Tennis Player of the Year.
She assists in the Tusculum University Tutoring Center where she helps her fellow classmates in a variety of subjects and disciplines. She has also been active in working in the community where she has volunteered with the Make-A-Wish program, volunteered reading to kindergarten students at a local school, served as an instructor at numerous youth tennis clinics and was active with the university's Nettie Day of Service.
The selection committee will announce the nine finalists, including three women from each NCAA division in mid-October. From those finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will select the 2020 NCAA Woman' of the Year later this fall.