Over the weekend, the ITA Division III National Women’s Team Indoor Championships showcased eight top women’s Division III teams in a three-day tournament. Since the championship event began in 2009, seven institutions have claimed the title, including the 2016 Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens. The team, led by then head coach and ITA Women’s Hall of Fame member Dr. Ann Lebedeff, defeated Carnegie Mellon in a defiant 5-0 victory to claim the first indoor championship title in program history for the Hens. 

With 40 years of coaching experience and over 650 wins throughout her coaching career, Lebedeff is no stranger in leading her teams to success. In 1998, Lebedeff became the Head Women’s Tennis Coach at Pomona-Pitzer College. During her time at the helm of the women’s tennis program, the Sagehens reached seven NCAA Division III quarterfinals, including a semifinals appearance in 2008. In 2000, her doubles team of Sheree Schwartz and Megan Gould won the NCAA Division III doubles title and in 2008, her player Siobhan Finicane won the NCAA Division III singles title.

Prior to her time at Pomona-Pitzer, Lebedeff led the Cal Poly Pomona (1989-98) men’s and women’s tennis teams to national championships, with the women claiming back-to-back NCAA Division II national titles in 1991 and 1992 and the men winning the doubles national championship in 1993. She began her coaching career at the University of Arizona in 1977, staying with the Wildcats until 1985.

A five-time Wilson ITA Coach of the Year Award honoree (1990, 1992, 2001, 2008 and 2016), Lebedeff was named the Division II Women’s Tennis Wilson ITA Coach of the Decade for the 1990’s. She was recognized by the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1999 with the Tennis Educational Merit Award, which is given to a man and woman who have made notable contributions in the field of tennis education, leadership and promotion of the game. That same year, Lebedeff was awarded the Rolex Meritorious Service Award by the ITA. In 2018, her legacy was set in stone with the creation of the ITA Ann Lebedeff Leadership Award, which was endowed by her friend and tennis legend, Billie Jean King. This award honors a recent college graduate who has demonstrated excellence and leadership on his or her team, college campus and community. 

Lebedeff is a member of the San Diego State University and Cal Poly Pomona Halls of Fame, and was inducted into the ITA Women’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame in 2019. She has served as an NCAA Division III Women’s chairperson, ITA National chairperson and has been on the board of various other committees. On and off the court, Lebedeff is celebrated for her continuous contributions and dedication to student-athletes across the country and to collegiate athletics as a whole. 

About the ITA Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association Men’s and Women’s Halls of Fame aspire to preserve and celebrate the history and further the development of intercollegiate tennis through the collection of historic memorabilia and with inductions of notable players, coaches, and contributors.

About the ITA – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is the governing body and coaches association of college tennis, both an advocate and an authority for the sport and its members. Comprised of 1,260 colleges and universities, 20,000 student-athletes, 1,700 varsity programs, 3,000 coaches, and 1,350 college tennis officials, the ITA empowers college tennis coaches at all levels to deliver vibrant tennis programs that are vital to their college communities and transformational to their student-athletes. Follow the 2023-24 college tennis season on the ITA website and ITA social channels on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.

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