Annie McCullough named ITA Player to Watch in Southeast Region

Annie McCullough named ITA Player to Watch in Southeast Region

TEMPE, Ariz. --- Tusculum University junior Annie McCullough has been selected by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association as the Division II Women's Player to Watch in the Southeast Region.

The award is given by the ITA regional award committee to a player in their second or third year of athletic eligibility who is expected to become one of the top returning regional players next year. Each of the eight region winners will be eligible for the national award, which will be announced next week.

McCullough was named South Atlantic Conference Player of the Year and first-team All-SAC in both singles and doubles after compiling an 18-4 singles record in dual matches and a 10-0 mark in regular-season conference play. McCullough, who was ranked as high as 33rd in singles in Division II by the ITA, was 6-1 in matches that went to a third set or a tiebreaker and had a 14-match winning streak from Feb. 27 to April 18 that included 12 straight-set wins.

In doubles, the Belfast, Northern Ireland native teamed with her twin sister, Caitlin, to post a 19-3 record in dual matches and a 10-0 record in regular-season conference play. The duo was ranked as high as 22nd in Division II by the ITA, and had a 2-2 record against nationally-ranked opponents. The McCulloughs ran off 16 consecutive wins from Feb. 24 through April 18, and had eight wins by 6-0 scores including the opening round of the NCAA Division II Tournament against Flagler.

McCullough had an overall singles record of 27-5 during the 2018-19 season, with three losses to ranked opponents and a fourth to a Division I player. She has a career dual-match singles record of 54-8 and a career mark of 57-17 in doubles, including 36-7 at flight one. During the 2018-19 season, the McCullough sisters had an overall 26-4 record in doubles matches, including tournaments.

Tusculum won its first SAC regular-season championship since 2010 and went undefeated in the conference for the first time since 2009. The Pioneers were runner-up in the SAC Championship tournament and earned their third straight bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament, where they were beaten 4-3 by Flagler in the opening round of the Southeast Regional.

Following the season, McCullough received the SAC Scholar-Athlete Award for women's tennis and was voted the Tusculum Female Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive year.