McCullough earns singles, doubles titles at Grizzly Open

McCullough earns singles, doubles titles at Grizzly Open

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. --- Tusculum University junior Annie McCullough won singles and doubles titles as the Pioneers competed in the Grizzly Open, hosted by Georgia Gwinnett College.

McCullough won three of her four matches in tiebreakers, including a 6-3, 1-6, (11-9) win over the Grizzlies' Henar Munoz in the A Draw championship match. She also teamed with her sister, Caitlin McCullough, for four wins in the doubles draw, beating Munoz and Margarida Abreu 9-7 in the finals.

The Pioneers' Africa Mota won the B Draw singles title for the second consecutive year, defeating teammate Amber Lackey 6-1, 6-1 in the finals following an all-Tusculum semifinal round.

Annie McCullough, seeded fifth in the A Draw, defeated Lea Krajcovicova of Alabama State 7-5, 6-0 in the round of 16, then downed fourth-seeded Reka Szentes of Alabama State 6-7, 6-3, (10-4) in the quarterfinals. McCullough edged top-seeded Ceire Mullins of Georgia Gwinnett in the semifinals by a 6-4, 2-6, (10-8) score, then got past Munoz, the 11th-ranked singles player in the NAIA last year, for the championship.

In doubles, the McCulloughs rolled to the finals with wins over Jordan England and Brooke Kane of West Georgia (8-2), Maria Popova and Chloe Kabamba of Alabama State (8-5) and Pioneer teammates Emilie Hansen and Lackey (8-5) in the semifinals. The McCulloughs outlasted Munoz and Abreu, ranked sixth in the NAIA at the end of last season, to give Tusculum the doubles title for the second year in a row.

In the B Draw, the Pioneers won all four of their contested matches in both the Round of 16 and the quarterfinals. Julia Lopez advanced with wins over Faustine Palatte of Tarleton (2-6, 6-3, 10-7) and Angie Laporal of Reinhardt (6-2, 6-4), Lackey beat Sofia Villalobos of Points (6-3, 6-2) and Kane (6-3, 6-1), Brooks defeated Albane Queinnec of Reinhardt (6-2, 6-4) and Timia Commodore of West Georgia (6-2, 7-5) and Mota downed Glauka Carvajal of Reinhardt (3-6, 6-4, 14-12) and Bailey McCammon of West Georgia (6-3, 6-2).

In the semifinals, Lackey defeated Lopez 6-0 in the first set and then advanced on retirement, and Mota beat Brooks 6-2, 3-6, (10-5). Mota then earned a 6-1, 6-1 win over Lackey in the B Draw finals.

Tusculum had four doubles teams advance to the quarterfinals. In addition to the McCulloughs, Hansen and Lackey beat Alicia Barbaroux and Sherine Salem of Tarleton 8-6 and beat Sventes and Urska Velec of Alabama State 8-5. Lopez and Mota teamed to beat Carvajal and Laporal of Reinhardt 8-1 and Gabriela Lackova and Krajcovicova of Alabama State 8-4, while Brittani Brooks and Martina Marras earned an 8-5 win over the West Georgia team of Shelby Brown and Commodore.

Lopez and Mota were eliminated in the other semifinal match by Munoz and Abreu 8-4, as the Pioneers had three of the four doubles teams that advanced to the semifinals.