By George Slaughter
Gatorade has named Seven Lakes senior Alley Batenhorst its 2020-21 Gatorade Texas Volleyball Player of the Year.
The award recognizes athletic excellence, academic achievement, and exemplary character both on and off the court, Gatorade said in a news release. Batenhorst is eligible for the Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year award to be announced later this month. This is the 36th year that Gatorade has honored the nation’s best high school athletes.
Batenhorst led the Spartans to a 25-1 record and their first-ever volleyball state title. The win also marked the first-ever volleyball state title for a Katy Independent School District School. The Spartans received their state championship rings last week at a ceremony at the high school.
On the court, Batenhorst made 574 kills, 371 digs, 33 blocks and 32 service aces. She received Class 6A Player of the Year and Greater Houston Player of the Year honors, and was most valuable player of the state tournament.
Batenhorst was also named a 2020-21 Under Armour First Team All-American, a VolleyballMag.com First Team All-American and a MaxPreps First Team All-American.
Tompkins coach Allison Merrell said Batenhorst is the best volleyball player she has ever seen.
“She is unreal,” Merrell said. “She refined her craft this year and somehow improved her ball control, which was already really, really good.”
Off the court, Batenhorst earned a 4.11 grade point average. She has served as a peer mentor and has volunteered in hurricane relief efforts. She has also volunteered at the Ballard House, which provides temporary lodging for individuals and their families who are hospitalized or receiving treatment.
Batenhorst has signed a Letter of Intent to play volleyball at the University of Nebraska.