HERALD ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: GLENBROOK NORTH'S LOUIE BATANG
Glenbrook North senior setter Louie Batang got all the Spartans' ducks in a row for a fifth boys volleyball state trophy and second state championship last Saturday at Glenbard West. It's the program's first title since 1993.
"He played his best two matches of the year on Saturday of the state tourney," coach Chris Cooper said. "Made good choices and had great execution all day."
In the state semifinal against Lincoln-Way West and the final against Lake Park, Batang totaled 41 assists, 3 kills, 12 digs and 7 blocks.
A would-be three-year varsity setter had not the 2020 season been canceled, Batang played all but one of the 25-0 Glenbrook North's matches this season. He ran an offense that hit .342 as a team and had five players who each recorded more than 100 kills.
The Central Suburban League South player of the year this season, Batang also was named all-state by Illinois Prep Volleyball.
"Batang brings a contagious energy to the court," said IPV editor Phil Brozynski. "He is not only an excellent technician as a setter, he also possesses that coveted blend of athleticism and 'court smarts' that make him equally proficient as a blocker and attacker."
Glenbrook North's team captain, headed to play at William Penn University, Batang finished his senior season with 528 assists, averaging around 10 a set. He put down 45 kills on a .462 hitting percentage, scored 95 points holding serve including 23 aces, and recorded 84 digs. Playing taller than his 5-foot-10 height, Batang's 29 total blocks ranked second on the Spartans.
"He first showed up in our gym as a 5-year-old when his older brother (Armin) played for us and it's been so fun to watch him become the player he is now," Cooper said.