Arizona State’s Kassidy Jump defeated teammate Sammi Hampton, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, to win the 22nd annual Thunderbird Invitational at Whiteman Tennis Center on Sunday.
The Sun Devils captured the tournament title for the second straight season with the victory. Players from Northern Arizona, California, San Diego and Fresno State also participated.
Head coach Sheila McInerney, entering her 33rd tenured season, said she was proud of the result, noting it was a team goal to secure each of the tournament’s awards.
“We wanted to bring the Kachinas (trophy awarded to winner) home. We wanted to keep them here, which we did,” McInerney said. “In the past, even if we won the singles, it was usually someone from the other team being the runner-up, so it was nice to have two Sun Devils in the final.”
Jump, this year’s champion, is a senior slated to serve as the team’s No. 1 singles player. She got the better of Hampton, a sophomore expected to play as the team’s No. 2, who will most likely play alongside Jump in the team’s No. 1 doubles pairing.
McInerney said she senses Jump’s excitement to play at the top of the ASU lineup.
“She’s pretty much solidified, winning here, she’s going to at least start the season playing the No. 1 spot,” McInerney said. “With the schedule we play, she’s gonna have the opportunity to play, I mean, I couldn’t tell you how many kids in the top-10, top-20 in the country. I think she’s excited about that.”
For the Sun Devils, the Thunderbird is their final scheduled competition of the calendar year before the team reconvenes following winter break to participate in the Michigan Invitational in Ann Arbor arranged to be played Jan. 14-16.
McInerney said she hopes her players can return to action in even better form.
“The hard part is, it’s a tune-up,” she said of the incoming hiatus. “But now we have six weeks before we go again, so now you just gotta make sure these kids work hard over the break.”
ASU’s roster features three seniors (Jump, Gussie O’Sullivan and Alex Osborne), one sophomore (Hampton), one freshman (Savannah Slaysman), and two junior transfers (Kelley Anderson and Nicole Fossa-Huergo).
Overall, the group performed well, clinching the tournament title by the semifinal round where Jump and Hampton were matched up against O’Sullivan and Fossa-Huergo, respectively.
“I’m happy about the tournament, for sure,” McInerney said. “We had three of the top-four seeds, so we expected to do well, but sometimes that’s the hardest thing... It’s easy to win sometimes when you’re not expected to, but the hardest thing in sports to do is win when you’re supposed to win.”
Below are full results of the Sun Devils at this year’s ASU Thunderbird Invitational, according to Sun Devil Athletics:
Round of 32
Round of 16
(1) Kassidy Jump (ASU) def. Maria Paula Torres (USD) – 6-3, 6-3
Kelley Anderson (ASU) def. Daniela Morales (USD) – 6-3, 6-1
Gussie O'Sullivan (ASU) def. Gemma Garcia (USD) – 6-7(2), 7-6(3), 6-2
(3) Nicole Fossa Huergo (ASU) def. Blanka Szavay (NAU) – 6-1, 6-2
Maria Smith (CAL) def. Alexandra Osborne (ASU) -- 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
Savannah Slaysman (ASU) def. Emma Wilson (Fresno) – 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-2(2)
Sammi Hampton (ASU) def. Alexis Nelson (CAL) – 6-1, 6-0
(1) Kassidy Jump (ASU) def. Kelley Anderson (ASU) – 6-4, 6-4
Gussie O'Sullivan (ASU) def. Galina Bykova (Fresno) – 6-3, 6-0
(3) Nicole Fossa Huergo (ASU) def. Maria Smith (CAL) – 6-0, 6-3
(2) Sammi Hampton (ASU) def. Savannah Slaysman (ASU) – 6-3, 6-3
Singles Consolation Matches
Alexandra Osborne (ASU) def. Blanka Szavay (NAU) – 7-5, 6-3
Kelley Anderson (ASU) def. Galina Bykova (Fresno) – 7-5, 6-1
Maria Smith (CAL) def. Savannah Slaysman (ASU) – 6-1, 6-4
Alexandra Osborne (ASU) def. Daniela Morales (USD) – 7-5, 6-3
Jump/Hampton (ASU) def. Jansen/Lin (CAL) – 6-1
Fossa Huergo/Osborne (ASU) def. Garcia/Morales (USD) – 6-3
Anderson/Slaysman (ASU) def. Wilson/Bykova (FSU) – 7-5
Fossa Huergo/Osborne (ASU) def. Anderson/Torres (USD) – 6-4
Anderson/Slaysman (ASU) def. Smith/Nelson (CAL) – 7-5
O'Sullivan/Hampton (ASU) def. Garcia/Morales (USD) – 6-3
Jump/Hampton (ASU) def. Smith/Nelson (CAL) – 6-4
Fossa Huergo/Osborne (ASU) def. Wilson/Bykova (Fresno) – 6-0
Anderson/Slaysman (ASU) def. Garcia/Morales (USD) – 6-3