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Bedingfield era ends with a loss

At the beginning of the 2002 season, former USF player and women’s tennis head coach Sherry Bedingfield announced that it would be her last season.

With 23 years, 346 wins and 10 conference championships behind her, Bedingfield’s era as women’s tennis team head coach ended yesterday against second seed Marquette in the Conference USA quarterfinals.

Bedingfield’s last day could have been better. Marquette snatched the match from USF 4-2 on a third singles point, despite sixth-seeded USF winning two matches and making a run in the singles with a couple of strong performances.

One of those performances came from senior Natalie Schwartz, who defeated Gen Charron 7-6, 6-3. The other victory came when freshman Patricia Kolendo’s beat Alex Stankovic, 6-4, 6-2.

But the doubles match is where USF faltered, with matches of 5-3, 8-1, 8-2.

Even with the loss of the tournament, Bedingfield went out on a positive note.

“Everything Sherry Bedingfield did, she did with class,” said USF athletic director Lee Roy Selmon.

“We’re so appreciative of her impact on so many young women who came through her program at USF. She made a difference in their lives and that’s what you hope for in every coach in intercollegiate athletics.”

Mary Goodman