North Texas

Decatur Volleyball Player's Incredible Diving Save Goes Viral

All eyes are on Decatur High School's varsity volleyball team after one of their own became a viral sensation following a diving play during last Friday's game.

It's being called one of the best saves of all time, especially at the high school level. Senior Autumn Finney says she was simply doing her part to help her team win.

"I was already behind the 10-foot line just waiting to attack, because I knew it was going to be an offset, so I wanted to be behind the ball. And then Tate had an incredible dig, and I just thought, 'Wow, what, you know, what heart.' So I didn't want to let that go to waste. So I thought, you've got to at least try. You've got to go for it," Finney said.

At that point, Finney leapt through the air toward the back of the court, and she still managed to hit the ball above her head in the opposite direction to make it over the net.

"In that moment, I wasn't thinking. My heart was (feeling), 'I want this. I want to win this game. I want this point. I want it.' You have to expect yourself to do great things," Finney said.

Finney says she didn't realize the magnitude of what she'd done, but that all changed once the video hit Twitter, and Olympic gold-medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings was among the thousands of people who reacted on social media.

"Saturday and Sunday I'm trying to do college applications, and all I'm seeing are retweets after retweets," Finney said.

On Tuesday the team was back on the court to practice ahead of a game against rival Argyle. It's the final district match and an important one ahead of the playoffs, but Coach Clark Oberle says they're riding a little extra momentum thanks to Finney's new fame.

"That's something you don't think you'll ever be part of, or at least I never thought I'd be part of. I've coached a lot of volleyball and seen a lot of great plays, but I've never seen anything like this before," Oberle said. "She's focused everything back on the team like a good teammate would do, so I really think it's going to be momentum for us. We'll see tonight, but I think it's going to do good things for us."

Social media is now filled with praises for Finney's athleticism and grit, but it's the acknowledgment for her passion that she appreciates the most.

"I'm a big heart person. I'm a big effort person. I don't care if you mess up and don't get the ball, but going for it and just showing that you really want it, you know, I respect that," Finney said.

Oberle says multiple college coaches have started looking at Finney since Friday's video was released. The senior was originally planning on enrolling at Texas A&M to fast-track her goal of joining the U.S. Marine Corps. Now she says she'll consider other universities if the opportunity to continue playing volleyball arises.

There are five games in a match. Krum won the first two. Decatur won the third game where Autumn made the save. Krum won the fourth and final game of the match.

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