KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
May 13, 2021
By Natalie Cook Clark
A Seven Lakes High School senior earned Gatorade’s 2020-2021 National Volleyball Player of the Year in their 36th year of honoring the nation’s most elite high school athletes. The award takes into account more than athletic skill, but also academic achievement and exemplary character.
Ally Batenhorst earns the Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year title. Photo credit: KISD.
More than an Athletic Award
Katy ISD's Seven Lakes High School senior Ally Batenhorst has been named Gatorade's 2020-2021 National Volleyball Player of the Year. She was surprised yesterday by Olympic medalist April Ross with the news along with her family, coaches and teammates.
Batenhorst won the prestigious award for her accomplishments on and off the court, joining an impressive group of former Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year winners who have combined for 92 gold medals and 13 National Championships.
“This award is especially special to me because it not only considers volleyball, but it also considers things like my character and academic achievements,” says Batenhorst.
A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Batenhorst from nearly half a million other student-athletes who play high school volleyball nationwide.
Batenhorst Topped List of Fierce Competition
Competition for the national award was fierce. Batenhorst topped the list of state winners in volleyball who collectively boast an incredible list of accomplishments, including 37 with signed letters of intent at Division 1 schools, 30 with a GPA of 4.0 and above, and 6 returning state Gatorade Players of the Year.
“Ally is a six-rotation, pin hitter who can terminate with equal facility from the left or right sides,” said John Tawa, national volleyball writer at VolleyballMag.com.
“She’s 6-foot-4, with long arms and long legs, which makes her an absolute handful at the net. She has also improved her first contact so significantly that she’s become an impact player on defense and in the serve-receive game,” says Tawa.
She maintained a 4.11 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to play volleyball on scholarship at the University of Nebraska this fall.
Led the Spartans to State Championship
The 6-foot-4 senior outside hitter led the Spartans to a 25-1 record and the Class 6A state championship this past season.
Batenhorst amassed 574 kills, 371 digs, 33 blocks and 32 service aces. The Class 6A Player of the Year and the Greater Houston Player of the Year, she was MVP of the state tournament.
Batenhorst was named a 2020-21 Under Armour First Team All-American, a VolleyballMag.com First Team All-American and a MaxPreps First Team All-American.
Batenhorst also is an avid volunteer and has served as a peer mentor as well as volunteering locally on behalf of hurricane relief efforts and at the Ballard House, which provides temporary lodging for individuals and their families who are hospitalized or receiving treatment.
Praise from Gatorade
“It’s truly an incredible feat for a Gatorade Player of the Year to outshine so many tough competitors,” says Gatorade Senior Vice President and General Manager Brett O’Brien. "Nearly half a million student-athletes play high school volleyball and Batenhorst stood above them all.”
Each year a selection committee evaluates the nation’s top talent in the District of Columbia and all 50 states, choosing national winners in 12 different sports: football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball, boys and girls soccer, and boys and girls track and field.