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Speaks named SoCon Player of the Month

Not many freshmen are playing No. 1 singles. But Ansley Speaks isn’t like many freshmen.

Speaks was a major recruiting coup for Furman women’s tennis coach Debbie Southern out of Mauldin High, and a tremendous start to her first season as a Paladin is showing why. Speaks was recently named the Southern Conference Player of the Month following a March performance in which she went 9-1 in in both singles and doubles play.

She opened the month with three wins at No. 2 singles before moving up to No. 1 and is now 13-5 on the season in singles and 13-3 playing doubles with Blair Martin to help Furman to a 13-5 overall record and 6-0 mark in SoCon play.

Speaks’ parents were both Paladin athletes. Father Chris was a quarterback, while mother Jan Ingold was a member of the swim team. Speaks, a five-start recruit in high school, was ranked as high as 19th nationally by and is South Carolina’s winningest player ever in Region II 4-A with a career mark of 191-20 combined for singles and doubles.

She won a remarkable four 4-A/3-A state singles championships, though that isn’t even as remarkable as four times being named the South Carolina Player of the Year. At one point from 2010-12, Mauldin went 65-0. Speaks also ranked third in her graduating class.


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