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Majorova, Brooks headline strong Pioneer performance at ITA Southeast Regional

Majorova, Brooks headline strong Pioneer performance at ITA Southeast Regional

SUMTER, S.C. --- The Tusculum women's tennis team competed in the Southeast Regional Small College ITA/Oracle Championships at the Palmetto Tennis Center over the weekend.

Junior Katarina Majorova advanced to the finals of the Flight A Championship bracket, while sophomore Brittani Brooks won the Flight B Consolation bracket at the event. The Pioneers had four players advance to the Round of 16 in Flight A singles, while two of Tusculum's three doubles teams advanced to their respective semifinals.

Majorova, who was seeded fourth in the Flight A bracket, opened the tournament with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Sonja Gaertner of Mount Olive on Friday. On Saturday, Majorova beat Olivera Veskovac of USC Aiken 6-0, 6-0 in the round of 32, then needed three sets to put away Elin Rundcrantz of Young Harris 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 in the round of 16 on Sunday.

In the quarterfinals on Sunday, Majorova beat Marta Pinol of Lincoln Memorial 6-2, 6-4, then came from set down Monday morning to defeat Candice Paya of Columbus State 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 to move into the finals against top-seeded Beatriz Lopez of Columbus State. However, Majorova fell in straight sets 6-3, 6-2 to the 2017 ITA All-American to finish as runner-up.

Sophomore Annie McCullough advanced to the Flight A quarterfinals with three victories over the weekend. She defeated Julia Loos of Lincoln Memorial 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 in the opening round on Friday, then beat Erisa Onchi of Catawba 6-2, 6-1 in the round of 32 on Saturday. On Sunday, McCullough outlasted Laura Dean of Anderson 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 in the round of 16 to move into the quarterfinals, where she lost to Lopez 6-3, 6-0.

Senior Franziska Funke and sophomore Caitlin McCullough also advanced into the round of 16 with two wins. Funke beat Jennifer Ball of Southern Wesleyan 6-2, 6-2 in the first round and Marleen Tilgner of Columbus State 6-4, 6-3 in the round of 32, before being eliminated by Jena Kelly of Georgia College by a score of 7-6 (7-4), 7-5. McCullough moved through the bracket with wins over Alexandra Dolfi of Limestone (6-2, 6-2) and Teagan McNamara of Belmont Abbey (6-4, 6-3) before becoming the first of three Pioneers eliminated by Lopez, by a 6-3, 6-0 score.

In Flight B, Brooks was defeated by Amelia Pinoargote of Augusta 7-5, 6-4 in the round of 64 to drop into the consolation bracket, but she responded with five victories to win the bracket. Brooks started her push through the field with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Victoria Silva of Emmanuel on Saturday, then won 6-0, 6-1 over Emily Corcoran of Catawba on Sunday morning. Brooks then downed Lucia Ria of Lander 6-1, 6-0 in the quarterfinals to advance to Monday's semifinal round.

On Monday, Brooks beat Celine Korteum of Columbus State 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 in the semifinals to move into the final round against Julia Valls of Lincoln Memorial. After splitting the first two sets 3-6 and 6-4, Brooks won a tiebreaker 10-8 to claim the consolation bracket victory.

Sophomore Amber Lackey also competed in Flight B, winning her first match against Corcoran 6-2, 6-1 before being eliminated in the round of 32 by Rachael Williams of Columbus State in three sets by scores of 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.

In doubles, the McCullough sisters advanced to the semifinals in Flight A with three wins. They defeated Eduarda Ferreria and Nelli Lius of Lander 8-2 in the round of 32, then beat Paya and Tilgner of Columbus State 8-4 in the round of 16. In the quarterfinals, the McCulloughs got past the third seeded team of Lopez and Noa Davico of Columbus State 8-4, but were beaten in the semifinals by eventual winners Felicia Baratta and Holly Bennett of North Georgia, 8-5.

Funke and Majorova, who were seeded fourth in Flight A, were upset in the first round by Emma Niemi and Emilia Richter of Georgia College by a score of 8-6.

In flight B, Brooks and Lackey moved into the semifinals with wins over Maria Puerta and Laura Sanchez of Young Harris (8-5) and Cameron Blanchard and Jaqueline Olivia of Anderson (8-1). However, the Pioneer duo was eliminated 8-6 by the top seeded team of Natalia Kattah Paz and Williams of Columbus State, which then went on to win the flight.

Tusculum will wrap up its fall schedule with a trip to Lawrenceville, Georgia to participate in the Grizzly Open hosted by Georgia Gwinnett College, which will be held Oct. 13-15.

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