Natalie Montini and the Reynolds volleyball team played from behind all night Tuesday, except when it counted most.
Montini powered home 13 kills to go along with six blocks, three digs and an ace as the Rockets gave visiting Roberson its first Mountain Athletic Conference loss, 3-1 (26-24, 26-24, 18-25, 25-19).
Kendra Rice added 10 kills, seven digs, four aces and a block for Reynolds (6-6, 4-1). Melissa Cavanini had 11 digs and two kills.
Montini is a senior who has committed to Charlotte and came into Tuesday’s match with more than three times as many kills (154) as any other Rockets player.
“It’s a very good feeling to get this win,” Montini said.
“Everybody stepped up and we all had a big game. This was just we needed. (Roberson) is a great team. We always come in with great energy when we play them and it definitely worked out to our advantage tonight.”
Indeed, the Rockets trailed the Rams (9-3, 4-1) in each of the first two games, only to stage late rallies. Montini served out the second game.
Roberson fought back in the third, but never led in the fourth and deciding set.
The Rams’ individual leaders were Keila McCurry (21 digs), Hope Dickerson (15 digs and three aces), Kathryn Sizemore (28 assists and two aces) and Cayla Wood (12 kills).
“We knew this was going to be tough,” Roberson coach Michelle Wagaman said.
“This is always a difficult environment because Reynolds has so much fan support. They played hard tonight.”
Reynolds coach Lori Ledford said that some early-season injuries held her team back, but that Tuesday was a good indication of where the Rockets stand now.
“We’re really starting to come together and I was proud to see the girls step up tonight,” Ledford said.
“Even when we were down, the effort was there.”
Reynolds continues MAC play Thursday at home against North Buncombe, while Roberson is scheduled to host Enka.