Speckman looks to make memories in final months with MUVB

Lauren+Speckman+%285%29+sets+up+Gwyn+Jones+in+Marquette%27s+sweep+over+DePaul.
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Speckman looks to make memories in final months with MUVB

Lauren Speckman (5) sets up Gwyn Jones in Marquette's sweep over DePaul.

Lauren Speckman (5) sets up Gwyn Jones in Marquette's sweep over DePaul.

Photo by Claire Gallagher

Lauren Speckman (5) sets up Gwyn Jones in Marquette's sweep over DePaul.

Photo by Claire Gallagher

Photo by Claire Gallagher

Lauren Speckman (5) sets up Gwyn Jones in Marquette's sweep over DePaul.

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For the past three years, any time a Marquette volleyball fan looked at the court, there was one constant: setter Lauren Speckman.

Now in her senior season, Speckman is one of the most accomplished setters in program history, ranking fifth all-time with 2,556 assists.

While Speckman’s on-court talents have gotten her far as a Golden Eagle, she has made a difference away from game days at the Al McGuire Center as well.

“She’s kind of just the model citizen, setter and kid that you want in your program,” head coach Ryan Theis said. “She can help set a mood as a reflection of what the staff wants. She’s a great relay between the staff and the team.”

Between arriving on campus and now, Speckman said she has undergone a huge transformation.

“I was just thinking about how much I have changed as a person, just in handling things, and as a player,” Speckman said. “I’ve definitely grown a ton, hopefully for the good.”

Her time with Marquette volleyball will come to an end after the fall semester, though. In the spring, Speckman will begin a master’s program at the University of San Francisco, where she committed to play beach volleyball.

“I’m really excited to go contribute elsewhere while continuing to get my education,” Speckman said. “It was kind of impulsive, but I’m really glad that I’m going to do it.”

Theis said he and the rest of the coaching staff fully support her decision.

“We’re very happy for her,” Theis said. “I encouraged it, if she can get a master’s degree paid for. She handles the stresses of school so well, so to finish in 3 ½ (years) was no problem.”

Speckman said primary reason for committing to San Francisco was simply to keep playing volleyball.

“A lot of it is not wanting to end yet,” Speckman said. “I don’t want it to end, and I think beach is a good way to transition out of it.”

While she has the potential to play professionally overseas, Speckman does not plan on pursuing that.

“I’m ready to start my career and start working towards those goals next,” Speckman said. “It takes a special type of person to (play professionally), and I applaud everybody who does, but it’s not for me.”

As far as career aspirations, Speckman has the simple goal of getting a job.

“Something that makes money, I don’t know,” Speckman said with a laugh.

The setter has 2,556 career assists, but Nov. 8 against DePaul, she finally got to take a stab at being an outside hitter. 

Up two sets, the match was all but decided. Senior Allie Barber went into the usual setter’s rotation, and Speckman lined up at the net. 

After libero Martha Konovodoff received the serve, Barber set one up for Speckman, who slammed it down onto the floor, giving Barber an assist and Speckman a kill.

“They have begged for that for a long time. Speck has every day at practice been talking about hitting. She’s going to go play beach, so she’s been doing hitting stuff in practices,” Theis said. “I told them they could have one try, and they took advantage of it.”

Two players Speckman has spent the past four years alongside are fellow seniors Barber and outside hitter Madeline Mosher. 

“They’re my two best friends,” Speckman said. “I can’t imagine my life without either of them. Watching them grow as people has been really cool, to go back and look at freshman year and how they both were, they’ve grown tremendously.”

The trio shares an apartment, and the players even invited the coaches for a welcome party when they moved in.

“When we went over, they had a fruit tray that they were cutting up,” Theis said. “Last year, they did Christmas cards, and I still have it over on my table.”

Theis said the three seniors have been the team’s core throughout their time at MU. After their freshman season, seven seniors graduated, two players transferred and an assistant coach left, so the coaches called on Speckman and her peers to be leaders.

“Those guys have been the heart and soul of this team,” Theis said. “We really started over and rebooted (during their freshman year), and they’ve really taken the leadership role and made everyone feel at home.”

Theis said since they arrived on campus, he always sees them hanging out. Now that they’re all departing from each other for the year, he thinks they’re cherishing their time together.

“Madeline’s in the (physical therapy) program, Allie’s applying to med schools and Lauren’s going to grad school,” Theis said. “It’s kind of sad that the band’s getting broken up pretty soon, but they’re sure enjoying their time together as best they can.”

Theis said Speckman is “very time-sensitive and high-strung when it comes to knowing answers,” but he loves that about her.

“She’s a huge Type A time-wise. Instant feedback, instant gratification, got to know what she’s doing the next minute, hour, week, year, five years,” Theis said.

He said the team enjoys making fun of how “she is all about the plan.”

In her final months at Marquette, Speckman said she wants to win, but that’s not her only goal.

“Obviously the goals are going to be winning BIG EAST Championships and the regular season and all that jazz,” Speckman said. “But really, I just want to make more memories because it is coming to an end soon.”

Looking back on her time at Marquette, Speckman said she has cherished her Marquette experience alongside her teammates. 

“I love these girls,” Speckman said. “It’s been a blast, it’s been a great four years. I don’t know if I have words to describe it. It’s been nothing but fun.”

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