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Four Pioneers named All-South Atlantic Conference

Four Pioneers named All-South Atlantic Conference

ROCK HILL, S.C. --- Four members of the Tusculum women's tennis team have been selected All-South Atlantic Conference in voting by the league's head coaches, the conference office announced Wednesday.

Sophomore Katarina Majorova and senior Franziska Funke were each selected first-team All-SAC in singles, with sophomores Annie McCullough and Caitlin McCullough earning second team honors. All four players were named All-SAC in doubles as well, as the pairings of the McCulloughs along with Funke and Majorova each were named to the first team.

The quartet helped the Pioneers finish the regular season with an overall record of 19-1, and in second place in the SAC with a 9-1 league record. Tusculum has advanced to the SAC semifinals for the seventh consecutive year, and will face Queens in the semifinals on Friday at 9 a.m. at the Cayce Tennis Center in Columbia, South Carolina.

Funke was named first-team All-SAC in both singles and doubles for the second straight year, and is a three-time first-team All-SAC honoree in both singles and doubles. Funke played #2 singles for the Pioneers and went 8-2 in conference matches, with an overall record of 15-2. The Bochum, Germany native won 12 of her 15 singles matches in straight sets, and was 3-0 in three-set matches. She was ranked as high as 31st in the Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division II singles rankings, and won the A draw singles title at the Grizzly Open in October with four victories. Funke is the program's all-time leader in singles victories with 69, and finished her career with a regular-season conference singles record of 37-4.

Majorova, the 2017 SAC Freshman of the Year, was named first-team All-SAC in singles and doubles for the second consecutive season. She went 14-2 during the regular season while playing #1 singles for the Pioneers, with both of her losses coming in three-set matches. In the fall, Majorova advanced to the championship bracket finals at the ITA Southeast Regional championships. The Martin, Slovakia native has been ranked as high as 12th in the ITA Division II singles rankings, and has a two-year record of 29-9 in singles for the Pioneers including a 15-4 mark in SAC matches. 

As a doubles team, Funke and Majorova have played at flight two for the Pioneers and compiled a season record of 16-1, including a 9-1 record in conference matches. The duo had three shutout victories during the season and five additional matches in which they lost two games or less. Majorova and Funke also picked up a tournament win in the fall, capturing the doubles championship at the Grizzly Open at Georgia Gwinnett College. Funke and Majorova have gone 38-8 in two years as a team, winning 19 of 21 conference matches over that span.

Annie McCullough, an honorable mention All-SAC singles player last season, had a perfect 16-0 singles record for the Pioneers this season, including ten wins in as many conference matches. Playing at #3 singles, McCullough lost just one set all season and was ranked as high as 27th in the ITA Division II singles rankings. The native of Belfast, Northern Ireland has a 36-4 career singles record for the Pioneers, including a 30-3 mark at #3 singles, and is 18-2 in her career in SAC singles matches.

Caitlin McCullough went 14-2 in singles for the Pioneers in her first season with the program after transferring from Northeastern State, where she was first-team All-MIAA as a freshman following a 20-5 season. McCullough, also a native of Belfast, Northern Ireland, went 9-1 in SAC matches for the Pioneers, and her only two losses came in match tiebreakers.

As a team, the McCullough sisters fashioned a 16-3 record during the regular season, including an 8-2 mark in conference play. The duo has been nationally ranked all season, reaching as high as fifth in the ITA Division II rankings, and had a pair of seven-match winning streaks.

Michela Verpelli of Wingate was named SAC Player of the Year, with Freshman of the Year honors going to Yana Fleyer of Queens. Michael Cabana of Wingate was honored as SAC Coach of the Year after leading the Bulldogs to a sixth consecutive undefeated conference season and eighth straight SAC regular-season championship.

2018 SAC Women's Tennis All-Conference

First Team Doubles
Michela Verpelli/Maria Garcia, Wingate
Annie McCullough/Caitlin McCullough, Tusculum
Franziska Funke/Katarina Majorova, Tusculum 

Second Team Doubles
Isabel Fornies/Carlotta Nassi, Queens
Amanda Carrillo/Marta Gomar, Newberry
Sasha Davidzenka/Yana Fleyer, Queens 

Honorable Mention Doubles
Lucia Davila/Elisa Aguirre, Newberry
Oroma Womeodu / Chyi Lee, Wingate
Jill Corsato-Owsianka  / Abby Reis, Carson-Newman 

First Team Singles
Katarina Majorova, Tusculum
Michela Verpelli, Wingate
Carlotta Nassi, Queens
Franziska Funke, Tusculum
Claudia De Andreis, Wingate
Yana Fleyer, Queens 

Second Team Singles
Amanda Carrillo, Newberry
Annie McCullough, Tusculum
Laura Dean, Anderson
Elisa Aguirre, Newberry
Chyi Lee, Wingate
Caitlin McCullough, Tusculum 

Honorable Mention Singles
Erisa Onchi, Catawba
Jill Corsato-Owsianka, Carson-Newman
Sophie Hirsch, Catawba
Sasha Davidzenka, Queens
Jasha Geerdink, Mars Hill
Ivey Welborn, Anderson

Player of the Year: Michela Verpelli, Wingate
Freshman of the Year: Yana Fleyer, Queens
Coach of the Year: Michael Cabana, Wingate

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