GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Furman women's tennis head coach Debbie Southern announced today the signing of three players to national letters of intent. Local standout Ansley Speaks of Simpsonville, S.C., is joined in the Paladins' incoming class by Karlee Bryde (Suwanee, Ga.) and Blair Martin (Tampa, Fla.).
"I am thrilled with our three top-notch recruits for 2013," said Southern, who is entering her 29th season at the helm of the Furman program. "These players will all come into our program and make a large impact. They are excellent students and great tennis competitors. All three are young girls with a high level of sportsmanship and integrity and a love for being on a team!"
Simpsonville, S.C. (Mauldin)
Ansley Speaks, a five-star recruit who ranks 38th nationally on tennisrecruiting.net, is 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, she has been 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, who currently ranks fourth in her graduating class, is a member of the National Honor Society and a Wendy's Heisman state finalist. Her father, Chris, 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.
Suwanee, Ga. (Lambert)
Karlee Bryde is a four-star recruit and ranks 95th nationally by tennisrecruiting.net. She was honored has her Lambert team's MVP as a freshman, sophomore, and junior after leading the team to two region championships and an appearance in the state championship finals. In USTA competition, Bryde was a singles semifinalist in the 2011 National 16's and both the 2012 Columbus Bullfrog and the Mobile Southern Closed tournaments. She reached the doubles finals in the 2011 National 16's and the 2012 Mobile Southern Closed competitions. Bryde has won sportsmanship awards at six USTA events and holds s a 4.1 GPA
Tampa, Fla. (Plant)
Blair Martin ranks 90th and has earned a four-star recruiting level on tennisrecruiting.net. She was honored as the 2011 and 2012 player of the year by both the Tampa Tribune and the Tampa Times after winning back-to-back state #1 doubles championships and guiding Plant to two-consecutive state crowns. Martin won the state championship at number two singles as a freshman then recorded undefeated regular seasons at number one singles as a sophomore and junior. She is a member of the National Honor Society, the Beta Honor Society, and the Anchor Service Club. She played softball until the age of 13, helping her team to a berth in the Little League World Series in Seattle, Wash., where the team placed fifth internationally.
Signee Height Hometown High School
Karlee Bryde 5-6 Suwanee, Ga. Lambert
Blair Martin 5-6 Tampa, Fla. Plant
Ansley Speaks 5-4 Simpsonville, S.C. Mauldin