LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell opened conference play with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 25-14) loss to Army West Point in Patriot League volleyball action at Davis Gym on Friday. The Bison dropped to 6-7 overall and 0-1 in the conference, while the Black Knights improved to 8-6 overall and 1-0 in the league.

The Bison looked good for long stretches in each of the first two sets against one of the top teams in the conference. They jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the opening set, including five straight points with freshman Delanie Lewis serving.

Bucknell held the lead in the first set until Army battled back to take a 16-15 edge on back-to-back kills by Allie Strong. After trailing 15-12, the Black Knights scored 13 of the final 17 points.

The Bison were down six, 19-13, in the second set but nearly fought their way back for the win. They went on a 7-1 run to tie the match at 20-20 after a kill by senior Luz Nagle. The teams split the next six points before the Black Knights registered kills on the final two plays to clinch the set and a 2-0 lead.

Senior Mimi Richards paced Bucknell with nine kills, four digs, and four block assists. Nagle was the team leader in assists with 12, while sophomore Sophie Bullard recorded a team-high 12 digs.

Rachel Gearon led the Black Knights with nine kills and four block assists. Jaden Pickell and Strong chipped in with three block assists apiece.

Army West Point was projected as one of the top teams in the Patriot League this season, finishing second in the preseason poll.

Bucknell will play another team predicted to finish near the top of the league standings when it hosts Colgate on Saturday at 5 p.m. The Raiders finished third in the preseason poll.