McCulloughs ranked second in Division II doubles by ITA

McCulloughs ranked second in Division II doubles by ITA

TEMPE, Ariz. --- Tusculum University seniors Annie McCullough and Caitlin McCullough are ranked second in Division II in the final Intercollegiate Tennis Association Women's National Fall Rankings, the ITA released Wednesday. Annie McCullough is also ranked seventh in Division II in the final singles poll of the fall.

The McCulloughs finished as the Division II runner-up in doubles at the ITA Cup in Rome, Georgia last month, and are ranked behind the Nova Southeastern duo of Natalie Espinal and Sarah Wardenburg which beat the McCulloughs in straight sets in the ITA Cup Division II championship match.

The duo ended the fall with a 10-3 overall record, including wins over third-ranked Nikol Alekseeva and Anna Novikova of Indianapolis, sixth-ranked Ulyana Grib and Valeriya Pogrebnyak of Lynn, and 14th-ranked Ashley Penshorn and Marina Vigil of St. Mary's (Texas), all at the ITA Cup. The McCulloughs also had wins over 10th-ranked Kristina Baran and Beatriz Lopez of Columbus State in the ITA Southeast Region semifinals, finishing the fall with a 4-2 record against nationally-ranked opponents.

As a team, the Belfast, Northern Ireland natives have a 54-12 record in three seasons together at Tusculum, and were ranked second in the Southeast Region rankings. Their previous career high ranking was 10th, accomplished during the 2018 season.

In singles, Annie McCullough went 10-3 during the fall to boost her career singles record (dual matches and tournaments) to 91-15. McCullough was 3-3 against nationally-ranked opponents during the fall, beating 21st-ranked Candice Paya of Columbus State in the ITA Southeast Region quarterfinals, then defeating 12th-ranked Kierstin Hensley of West Virginia State and eighth-ranked Anna Savchenko of Azusa Pacific at the ITA Cup.

Among her three losses were a defeat in the ITA Cup quarterfinals to number-one ranked Berta Bonardi of West Florida, a three-set setback to 14th-ranked Eden Schlagenhauf of Flagler in the ITA Southeast Region semifinals and a loss to NAIA third-ranked Madeline Bosnjak of Georgia Gwinnett. McCullough, who was ranked third in singles in the Southeast Region survey released last week, also had a perfect 3-0 record against Division I opponents during the fall.