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.
KATY, Texas. (Gatorade Media Relations) – In its 36th year of honoring the nation’s most elite high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Ally Batenhorst of Seven Lakes High School in Katy, Texas is the 2020-21 Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year. 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.
Olympic medalist April Ross virtually surprised Batenhorst with the news, while her family, coaches and teammates showed up with the trophy at school. Check out a video of the announcement here.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Batenhorst as the nation’s best high school volleyball player. 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.
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. I think she’ll be a plug-and-play performer at Nebraska who will excel wherever the Huskers need her.”
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 has served as a peer mentor in addition to volunteering locally on behalf of hurricane relief efforts and the Ballard House, which provides temporary lodging for individuals and their families who are hospitalized or receiving treatment.
Batenhorst has maintained a weighted 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.
“It’s truly an incredible feat for a Gatorade Player of the Year to outshine so many tough competitors,” said 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.
Gatorade is dedicated to recognizing, supporting and keeping athletes in the game because of the lifelong skills sports instill on and off the field. Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators. Previous winners include a distinguished list of athletes, such as Peyton Manning, Abby Wambach, Jayson Tatum, Derek Jeter, Elena Delle Donne and many other sports icons.