SUMTER, S.C. --- The Tusculum University women's doubles team of Annie McCullough and Caitlin McCullough advanced to the finals of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Southeast Regional Small College/Oracle Championships, held at the Palmetto Tennis Center.
The McCulloughs, who were seeded second in the field, advanced to the finals with four victories. The duo beat Kylee Ramsey and Lindsey Wiggins of Lander 6-1 in the round of 32, defeated Agostina Bigotti and Amanda Citre of Columbus State 6-1 in the round of 16, and beat Anika Nissen and Lixin Wang of Flagler 6-1 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, the McCulloughs rallied to beat Kristina Baran and Beatriz Lopez of Columbus State 7-5 to advance. In Monday morning's championship match, the top-seeded team of Sasha Davidzenka and Yana Fleyer of Queens posted an 8-0 victory over the McCulloughs to claim the region title.
Annie McCullough was also a semifinalist in singles, winning three matches and knocking off the top seed before being ousted in three sets by Eden Schlagenhauf of Flagler 7-6, 3-6, 6-2. McCullough downed Gabriela Del Val Del Toro of Coker 6-0, 6-1 in the round of 32 and beat Neila Trkjia of Columbus State 6-3, 7-5 in the round of 16. In the quarterfinals, McCullough beat top-seeded Candice Paya of Columbus State, holding a 6-1, 5-5 lead in the match when Paya was forced to retire.
Caitlin McCullough and Julia Lopez each had two victories in singles for the Pioneers during the tournament. McCullough beat Merye Gobernate of Augusta 6-1, 6-2 in the round of 64 and downed Lucy Spice of Newberry 6-0, 4-6, 6-2 in the round of 32. Lopez defeated Mirna Curcic of Anderson 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 in the round of 64 and rallied for a 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 win over Baran in the round of 32. McCullough was eliminated in the round of 16 by Luise Sachs of Columbus State by a 6-1, 7-5 score, while Lopez fell to Schlagenhauf 6-3, 6-4 in the round of 16 match.
Also competing in singles for the Pioneers was Africa Mota, who beat Julieta Boerr of Young Harris 6-1, 6-3 in the round of 128 before falling 6-1, 6-2 to Columbus State's Lopez in the round of 64. Mota and Lopez also played in doubles for the Pioneers, beating Alisa Liashova and Ana Carla Resende 6-2 in the round of 32 and falling 7-5 to Paloma Martinez and Alessandra Traub of Flagler in the round of 16.
The Pioneers will continue their fall schedule at the Grizzly Open, starting Friday and continuing through Sunday at Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
Round of 128
Africa Mota def. Julieta Boerr (Young Harris) 6-1, 6-3
Round of 64
Annie McCullough def. Grace Forbes (Queens) by walkover
Julia Lopez def. Mirna Curcic (Anderson) 6-1, 4-6, 6-1
Caitlin McCullough def. Merye Gobernate (Augusta) 6-1, 6-2
Beatriz Lopez (Columbus State) def. Africa Mota, 6-1, 6-2
Annie McCullough def. (1) Candice Paya (Columbus State), 6-1, 5-5 (retired)
Eden Schlagenhauf (Flagler) def. Annie McCullough, 7-6, 3-6, 6-2