Junior Year (2015-16): Speaks was honored as the 2016 Southern Conference Player of the Year and was selected to the All-Southern Conference first team for both singles and doubles after recording a 15-8 overall singles record and 5-2 league singles mark, playing in the number one position. She earned 11 wins in her last 14 matches, beginning with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Missouri and ending with a 6-4, 6-2 win versus Samford in the second round of the SoCon Championships. Speaks combined with Katty Weymouth at flight one doubles. The Paladin duo notched a 13-9 overall mark and 6-1 league record and won 10 of their last 11 matches to conclude the season. Speaks was named to the Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll, the Academic All-SoCon Team, and the ITA All-Academic Team.
Sophomore Year (2014-15): Speaks was named to the All-Southern Conference first team for both singles and doubles after posting a 14-7 overall singles record and 4-3 league singles mark, playing primarily at the top-flighted singles position. She won seven of her last eight non-conference matches, including six in straight-sets. Speaks won six out of the last seven matches to finish out the season, with victories over Western Carolina, Mercer, Wofford, and UNCG in regular-season play and SoCon Tournament wins versus both UNCG and Samford. In doubles, she teamed with Alex Moreno-Kaste at flight one. The Paladin team recorded an 11-9 overall record and 6-1 conference mark. The duo put together a seven-match winning streak that began at Chattanooga on March 29 and continued through the opening round of the SoCon Tournament. Speaks was named to the Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll, the Academic All-SoCon Team, and the ITA All-Academic Team.
Freshman Year (2013-14): Speaks was honored as the 2013-14 Edna Hartness Furman Female Athlete of the Year and named the 2014 SoCon Women’s Tennis Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year. She was chosen to the All-SoCon first team for singles and to the All-SoCon second team at No. 2 doubles and also claimed a spot on the SoCon All-Freshman team. Speaks helped the Paladins to their first SoCon regular season title since 2009, as Furman went 9-0 in league play and closed out the regular season with a nine-match winning streak heading into the SoCon Championships. Speaks posted a 16-5 singles record, including a 7-1 mark at No. 1 singles in conference play, and 13 of her 16 singles victories came in straight sets. She avenged her only regular season conference loss with a win over Elon at No. 1 in the SoCon Championships. Speaks tallied a 15-4 doubles record, including a perfect 8-0 mark in SoCon competition, playing at flight two with Blair Martin. The Paladin duo put together a nine-match wining streak from March 21-April 10 and won 16 of 17 matches completed between February 8 and April 10. Speaks was named the SoCon Player of the Month for March after posting a combined 18-2 record in singles and doubles competition for the month and was chosen SoCon Player of the Week for April 1 after recording a perfect 6-0 combined singles & doubles record. She was named to the SoCon Academic Honor Roll and the ITA All-Academic Team.
Prep/Personal: Ansley Speaks, a five-star recruit who ranked as high as 19th nationally on tennisrecruiting.net, was the winningest player of all time in Region II-4A with a 191-20 overall combined record for singles and doubles. A four-time 4A-3A state singles champion and four-time South Carolina High School Player of the Year, she was named the region player of the year six-consecutive seasons and earned four all-state citations, while leading her Mauldin team to a 65-0 streak from 2010-12, including three 4A state championships and six upper state crowns. Speaks was honored as the USTA S.C. Female Tennis Player of the Year in 2011 after winning the Girls 16’s National Open Doubles Championship. A member of the S.C. Southern Cup Team from 2007-12, she placed third in the 2012 Girls 18’s National Open Singles Tournament. Speaks, a High School All-American and National AP Scholar who ranked third in her graduating class, is a member of the National Honor Society and a Wendy’s Heisman state finalist. Ansley Lauren Speaks was born on January 8, 1995, in Columiba, S.C., to Chris and Jan Speaks. Her father played quarterback at Furman from 1984-88, while her mother, the former Jan Ingold, was a member of the Furman swim team from 1985-89. She is undecided on her major.
Getting to Know Ansley Speaks
Favorite Restaurant: Olive Garden
Favorite Band: Imagine Dragons
Favorite Book: To Kill a Mockingbird
Favorite Movie: The Blind Side
Favorite TV Show: NCIS
Craziest ambition: Sky diving
Best non-athletic talent: Eating
First job I ever had: Teaching tennis camps
Dream job: Playing professional tennis
Favorite Pro sports team: Pittsburg Steelers
Something people don’t know about you: I have a miniature sized thumb
Proudest athletic accomplishment: Winning high school singles for 4 years
Most famous person you’ve met: Tim Tebow
If a movie were made about me, I’d want this actress to play me: Jennifer Lawrence
Pro player I’d most like to play against: Ana Ivanovic
If you could play mixed doubles with any pro player, who would you choose? Rafael Nadal
Name one of your athletic role models that isn’t a tennis player and tell why you admire them.
Michael Jordan because I really value his work ethic and determination.
What is the most important political issue to you right now? Healthcare reform
The reality show I’d go on: Jeopardy
If I’m cooking, we’re having: Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
If you had one day to live, how would you spend it? Being at home with my family and talking to my friends and family
If you could have dinner with three people, who would they be? Jesus, Peyton Manning, Roger Federer
What would you do to make this world better? Get rid of childhood cancer
If you were not a tennis player, what would you be? Cross country runner
Most valuable item you own? My Bible