Ally Batenhorst of Katy (Texas) Seven Lakes High School was named 2020-21 Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year on Wednesday.
The 6-foot-4 outside hitter led Seven Lakes to a 25-1 record and Texas Class 6A state championship this past season, totaling 574 kills, 371 digs, 33 blocks and 32 service aces. Batenhorst’s strong senior season earned her Class 6A Player of the Year and state tournament Most Valuable Player recognition, as well as other postseason accolades including Under Armour first-team All-American, VolleyballMag.com first-team All-American, MaxPreps first-team All-American and now, Gatorade National Player of the Year.
Batenhorst was virtually surprised with the Gatorade National Player of the Year award by Olympic Medalist and 1999-2000 Gatorade National Player of the Year April Ross.
“When she popped up on the screen at first, I was like ‘Oh my gosh, why is she talking to me?’,” Batenhorst said in an interview with USA Today High School Sports. “She started talking and then my family started walking in and I was just confused. They brought in this big trophy and April Ross was just like, ‘You also got National Player of the Year.’ I was just in complete shock.”
Batenhorst has also been a star in the classroom throughout her time at Seven Lakes, boasting a weighted 4.11 GPA while 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.
“It’s truly an incredible feat for a Gatorade Player of the Year to outshine so many tough competitors,” Gatorade Senior Vice President and General Manager Brett O’Brien said, per release. “Nearly half a million student-athletes play high school volleyball and Batenhorst stood above them all.”
Batenhorst is set to continue her volleyball career at the University of Nebraska in the fall, where she will look to parlay her storied high school career into success in the college ranks.
“I just want to come in and make an impact and hopefully start and be the best possible version of myself I can be,” Batenhorst said. “I’m going to learn, take everything in, take advantage of the opportunities I have. I’m really excited to see what happens next.”