Volleyball: Going viral – Goforth’s save garners national attention

By Reece Waddell | Published Wednesday, July 4, 2018
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As the ball sailed over her head and out of bounds, Victory Christian sophomore Kacely Goforth sprawled out and made a diving attempt to save the point.

SPECTACULAR SAVE – Victory Christian sophomore Kacely Goforth hits a ball during a match. Goforth recently made a save that was featured on ESPN. Submitted photo

Hitting the ball with her non-dominant left hand, Goforth sent a shot that clipped the top of the net and fell to the floor on the opposition’s side. The Texas Pistols and their fans erupted.

The play has been viewed thousands of times on Facebook and was the No. 1 play of the day on ESPN’s SportsCenter last week.

“You can’t recreate it. There’s no way,” said Pistols coach Brad Roberson. “You can’t practice for that. You can’t drill for that. It’s a God-given [talent]. It’s called heart and being a competitor. [There are] 10 million volleyball players in America, and maybe 0.00001 percent would be able to get that ball.”

The play swung momentum back to the Pistols, helping them win the match in three sets. Goforth said both sides had been trading points throughout the set. She believed her highlight-reel effort was a turning point in the match.

“At that time, we were all kind of ready to give up and were down on ourselves. Whenever I made that save it was like ‘OK, I think we can do this,'” Goforth said. “Whenever I hit [the ball] it kind of hit my hand weird. I just ran for it as hard as I could go. I stretched out and was praying I would at least get the ball up a little bit.”

The Pistols finished 9-2 at the 2018 USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships in Detroit, placing 10th in their division.

“We had a phenomenal season. These girls play at a very high level,” Roberson said. “Just to go to nationals is a huge honor. Only 1 percent of all volleyball players go to nationals. You’re in a very elite crowd when you go.”

It is not the first time a Wise County volleyball player has gone viral. Last October, Decatur’s Autumn Finney was also featured on SportsCenter’s Top Plays after a similar diving save.

Finney played for Roberson several years ago when the Pistols were the Hot Shots. He said Goforth and Finney share a same tenacity for the game and it is no coincidence they were able to make these spectacular plays.

“Those girls make plays like that every day,” said Kacely’s father, Denton. “It’s just rare you get it on camera. I think everyone in that moment knew it was special.”

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