If this isn’t the sports highlight of the year ... it’s very, very close.
Autumn Finney showed just how far a competitor is willing to go to chase down a “lost cause” ball when the Decatur, Texas, senior and volleyball team captain went airborne in the wrong direction to take a swipe at a ball quickly heading off the court.
Decatur was leading Krum 22-17 in the third set when, after two errant plays on the ball sent it aloft out the back of the court, Autumn sprinted after it, hurdling a downed player to get high enough to make contact and, somehow, keep the ball in play by sending it over the net to the other side.
The visual of Autumn’s approach on the ball speaks to the insanity of her feat far more than words could so take in the exhilarating footage from several different angles below. The crowd lost their collective mind both after the play itself and the end of the point, which can be seen in the third video.
This clip offers a better look at just how hard Autumn worked to both get the ball and winding up to return it.
However, the most dramatic clip comes from beyond the baseline, in which Autumn jumps toward the camera only to swing in the reverse direction and change the ball’s course.
@mallorydowne @Apfinney Still don't understand how this was possible... https://t.co/6S4X9JmV5V— Satasha (@Satasha) 1508615059.0
As you can see, not just the save but the effort made by the entire team was not in vain as Decatur eventually won the point.
The praise came in quickly, with assessments ranging from “play of the year” to “best play I’ve ever seen in any sport.”
@mallorydowne @Apfinney This is one the best plays I’ve ever seen in any sport, professional or amateur. Unreal.— Ryan (@Ryan) 1508621344.0
One Twitter user pointed how the ridiculousness of the dive in a way that perfectly encapsulates the player’s fearlessness and tenacity.
@mallorydowne @haleyfrankk @Apfinney that’s a beach dive on an actual court sheesh 💪🏼— JΛKE (@JΛKE) 1508547785.0
In fact, beach volleyball legend Kerri Walsh Jennings sent out not one but four tweets expressing her amazement at the play.
Holy h🔥ll!!!!! That is so RAD!!! @espn @SportsCenter @StanfordWVB 🤗 check it out!!!! @Apfinney SO GOOD!!! Good luck… https://t.co/hNCNjuARy2— Kerri Walsh Jennings (@Kerri Walsh Jennings) 1508602903.0
Insanity!!!!! Such amazing team and individual effort!!!! Our sport is so RAD. SPORT, in general, is so RAD!!!! https://t.co/7YDpA8a7tz— Kerri Walsh Jennings (@Kerri Walsh Jennings) 1508626279.0
So good, Geet!!!! It makes me want to go play right NOW!!!!!!!!! https://t.co/xl1jNkn1tm— Kerri Walsh Jennings (@Kerri Walsh Jennings) 1508626325.0
I could watch this all day. https://t.co/TSqqV6Rjt0— Kerri Walsh Jennings (@Kerri Walsh Jennings) 1508627350.0