Onaway alum Letts to compete in senior volleyball showcase

News File Photo Onaway players Taylor Ehrke, left, Vydailya Letts, center, and Madison McLean attempt to block a shot during a 2015 district volleyball matchup with Rogers City in Hillman. Letts will participate in the 2017 All-State Senior All-Star Volleyball Classic on Friday.

In two seasons of varsity volleyball, Vydailya Letts established herself as an indispensable player who was committed to working hard.

Now after a successful career at Onaway High School, Letts is being recognized for her hard work.

Letts will participate in the 2017 All-State Senior All-Star Volleyball Classic on Friday at Harper Creek High School in Battle Creek. Two semifinal matches will be played at 3:30 p.m. and consolation and final matchups will be held at 5 p.m.

The tournament showcases top senior volleyball players who were named first, second or third team in Class A, B, C or D.

“It took a lot to get where I was this this year,” Letts said. “The amount of improvement I made this year, I was very impressed (with myself).”

Letts was a third team Class D all-state selection by the Michigan High School Volleyball Coaches Association in her senior season. As a middle hitter, she was a key offensive player for the Cardinals, finishing with 159 kills, a .250 attack percentage and 85 aces.

Onaway coach Steve Watson said however that Letts’ biggest contribution may have been on defense. At 5-foot-5, Letts’ was far from the tallest player on the court, but she was one of the most talented. She set a new school record for blocks in a season (70) and added 247 digs.

“She became a defensive asset at the net. She broke Lexi Szymoniak’s (single-season) record for blocks and that’s a testament to her work ethic because she did it at 5-foot-5,” Watson said.

Letts also finished her career with school records for blocks per set in a season (.56) and career (.52) and is second to Szymoniak in career blocks (119 to Szymoniak’s 128).

“I had to work on being the best I could be,” Letts said. “I had a lot of blocking practice and I made sure I kept my vertical (leap up) so I could be a threat to everyone on the other side.”

With Szymoniak’s graduation in 2015 along with five other members of a team that made a semifinal appearance in 2014, Letts became an important cog in Onaway’s team for the next two seasons. She joined the varsity team as an under the radar player and quickly established herself as a player to be counted on with her talent and athleticism.

“My junior year, there was a huge role to fill. I had to learn how to be a leader really quick,” Letts said. “My senior year I was trying to make my mark.”

Letts plans to study computer software engineering at the University of Michigan in the fall and hopes to play intramural volleyball.

Until then, she’s excited about the chance to play with some of the best players in the state.

“I expect to definitely be challenged. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to play competitively,” Letts said. “It’s different and my eyes are going to be open to how many good players there are in Michigan.”

James Andersen can be reached via email at sports@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.