The White House Lady Devils' season hung in the balance down 14-13 in the fifth set Tuesday, and the only thing that could save it was senior Justine Lowe's fist.
The Lady Devils survived the match point and won the next two to defeat Creek Wood in the Region 6-AA semifinals and clinch their spot in the sectional round.
All season, White House has had a knack for winning tight matches and doing just enough to get the job done. Tuesday night was no different.
In the first set, both teams had set-point opportunities before the Lady Devils took three consecutive points to win 27-25. They also took the second set with the exact same score.
After two sets, White House had outscored Creek Wood by a total of four points but held a commanding 2-0 lead.
The Lady Red Hawks flipped the switch in the third and fourth sets, dominating each by scores of 25-10 and 25-14, respectively. With the match tied, the momentum was firmly on their side.
The Lady Devils trailed 9-5 and 13-10 in the final set before facing a Creek Wood match point at 14-13.
A Creek Wood spike caromed off a Lady Devil far beyond the White House back line, and as her high school career was about to go with it, senior Lady Devil Justine Lowe raced back and threw her fist at the ball.
"In my mind, I was thinking I have absolutely no other option," Lowe said. "Even if I look stupid and miss it, I'm going for this ball."
She didn't miss. With all her power behind it, the ball flew back into play. Hannah Meador bumped it over, and the Lady Devils won the point.
Two points later, the Lady Devils celebrated on the floor, and their season was not over.
"We don't do things easy; we don't like easy," said White House co-coach Kassie King. "We like to challenge ourselves for sure."
The White House volleyball program has taken a U-turn behind their senior leaders, Lowe, Megan Thompson and Lacey Escue. The Lady Devils have never made the state tournament but now sit one game away.
"It feels so good because we've never done that before," Lowe said. "The White House volleyball program is a hard-working program, but we don't really always get blessed with height or quickness or anything like that."
What the team lacks in size and speed has been compensated with tenacity and a never-say-die attitude.
"They're diggers; they're hard fighters," King said. "(They're not) going to give up. They're going to make you take it from them. All in all, we couldn't be more proud as coaches."
White House will play Thursday night at Lawrence County for the opportunity to play in the state tournament.