ASU women's tennis senior reflects on a historic four-year career

Kassidy Jump ends her Sun Devil tenure with the sixth-most wins in program history

ASU women's tennis senior  Kassidy Jump put the finishing touches on a sparkling four-year career — a journey she would repeat in a heartbeat.

Jump lost her final match as a Sun Devil on Wednesday in straight sets to Texas Tech sophomore Felicity Maltby in the first round of the NCAA singles championship, but the Granite Bay, California native’s full body of work speaks for itself.

The former  five-star recruit out of the JMG Tennis Academy is an All-Pac 12 First Team honoree, the International Tennis Association (ITA) Southwest Region Most Improved Player, a Pac-12 Player of the Week in late March, and accomplished her goal of making the individual NCAA Tournament.

Known as “Fist Pump” by her teammates and coaches, she finished her career with the sixth-most wins in school history (85) and received plenty of postseason honors after an impressive final season. 

“I couldn’t have imagined going anywhere else,” Jump said. “If I could have done it all over again, I would have picked ASU.”

One loss, albeit on the biggest stage, does not take away all that Jump has accomplished.

“I enjoyed my experience at ASU so much,” Jump said. “Just the people I have been able to meet outside of athletics and in athletics have been so amazing. I’ve gained lifelong friends and within the athletic department, they're so helpful for our lives after college, really wanting us to succeed.”

Wednesday afternoon’s defeat was tough on both players. A two-hour rain delay did not allow either Jump or Maltby to settle in and mid-match showers forced the match indoors. Unfortunately, Jump, ranked No. 50 in the ITA singles rankings coming in, was on the short end of the difficult predicament.

Maltby, ranked No. 58, defeated Jump in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Georgia. Afterward, head coach  Sheila McInerney said it was a tough day for Jump.

"I think she started out a bit nervous and did not give herself a chance to settle into the match,” McInerney said. “t was a tough one today but we are certainly proud of Kassidy, as she has had an outstanding career for ASU and has represented us well on and off the court.”

Senior season in review

Playing on court one for the first time in 2016-17, Jump went 20-14 in singles as a senior. Partnered with sophomore Sammi Hampton (CQ) in doubles for the second straight season, the pairing won 10 of their final 12 matches and finished 26-6 overall on court three. At one point this season, Jump and Hampton held a 13-match winning streak.

All things considered, Jump held her own against higher-ranked competition.The former two-time National Fed Cup Junior Team member faced a slew of ranked opponents this season, including two in the same weekend: then-No. 6 Luisa Stefani of Pepperdine and No. 1 Francesca Di Lorenzo of Ohio State.

 Despite losing to Di Lorenzo and Stefani, Jump held her own against higher-ranked competition this season.The 5’6’’ right-handed power player upset then-No. 23 Gabby Smith of USC for one of the biggest victories of her collegiate career on April 15. 

Jump said she has learned a lot from all her coaches, but said in the last two years assistant coach Matt Langley has made a huge impact.

“Matt has been great,” Jump said. “He has really helped me through a lot of tough matches, especially this year, and believe in myself.

Support Network

Before this past season, Jump said she got used to playing with the same teammates. As a result, she became very close with everyone.

Three new players, junior transfers Kelley Anderson and Nicole Fossa-Huergo and freshman Savannah Slaysman, became Sun Devils but Jump said her and fellow seniors Gussie O’Sullivan and Alex Osborne quickly bonded as a group.

“To be honest, this last year was by far the closest team that I have been a part of these four years,” Jump said. “Every girl that I have been able to interact with on the team and get to know have been amazing and they are all like family now.”

In addition, members of Jump’s family were loyal supporters both at Whiteman Tennis Center and on the road.

“I’m used to my family being there, because they were always there during the juniors,” Jump said. “Being at college, I kind of get used to being on my own a little bit more but it’s always nice to have my family there for comfort and support.”

During her singles matches this season, Jump received additional support from ASU students and fans sitting in the bleachers located closest to court one.

“The fans were great,” Jump said. “A lot of our big matches got really big crowd support and that really helps me because I like playing in front of people; I like the rowdiness, I like the noise.”

Now an ASU graduate, the criminal justice and criminology major said she will miss ASU, but she is ready to begin the next chapter.

“Hopefully I can still play some tennis,” Jump said. “Once my tennis career is over, I would like to get involved with something federal or within (the Department of) Homeland Security.”


Reach the reporter at jpjacqu1@asu.edu or follow @joejacquezaz on Twitter.

Like State Press Sports on Facebook and follow @statepresssport on Twitter. 


Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.