Danielle Batenhorst, a standout freshman on Gonzaga’s volleyball team, is ready for the adverse weather that awaits her during a winter in Spokane.
“Being from Texas I’m super excited for the four seasons, because I love cold weather,” Batenhorst said in an email.
The Katy, Texas, native will play outside hitter for the 2018 Zags volleyball team when it takes the court to start its season at the Wahine Volleyball Classic in Manoa, Hawaii, at end of the month.
Beyond the climate, Batenhorst’s rationale for choosing GU was more conventional.
“I chose Gonzaga because of the family environment, strong academics, a great volleyball program and coaches,” she said.
Batenhorst has played volleyball since the fourth grade, most recently for her varsity team at Seven Lakes High School and for the Houston Juniors 17 Elite club team.
Both the athlete and coaching staff agree Batenhorst’s self-described competitive-driven spirit will be one of the greatest assets she brings to the squad.
“Dani has it all. She will come to Gonzaga with a high level of experience coming from Texas,” head coach Diane Nelson said in a news release last November. “Beyond Dani’s volleyball skills, she has the ability to stay composed under pressure and lead those around her.”
Academically, Batenhorst will study to be a business major and off the court, it is her hope to spend time giving back to the community.
“I want to be involved with more volunteer work,” she said.
This summer, Batenhorst volunteered with Habitat for Humanity as part of the Gonzaga University Summer Term program, an undertaking she would love to participate in again, she said.
Over the next four years, Batenhorst is excited to continue her volleyball career and start her future profession.
“I’m looking forward to being part of the volleyball team and pursuing a career in business,” she said.
Fans will have their first opportunity to watch Batenhorst and the rest of the GU volleyball team on Sept. 20 inside the Martin Centre, when the Zags duel with West Coast Conference foe Loyola Marymount.
Ian Davis-Leonard is a sports editor. Follow him on Twitter: @ilowe714.