DELAND, Fla. – Bucknell volleyball opened play at the Hatter Classic with a pair of matches on Saturday, dropping its opener 3-1 to Providence before falling 3-0 to ECU. The Bison will conclude play at the event when they play against host Stetson on Sunday at 11 a.m.

Bucknell dropped to 3-2 on the season, while Providence improved to 5-0 and ECU upped its record to 4-2.

“Tough matches today,” Bucknell head coach Anna Allison said. “We played very well against Providence and saw some great moments. We did not play a good match against ECU. We are going to regroup and get ready to face Stetson tomorrow.”

Providence 3, Bucknell 1 Providence prevailed 3-1 (25-21, 21-25, 25-20, 25-20) in a battle of unbeatens in the opening match of the Hatter Classic. The Friars entered with a record of 4-0, while the Bison entered at 3-0 after winning the season-opening Bucknell Invitational.

Despite the loss, Bucknell gave itself a chance thanks to continued defensive success at the net. The Bison, who entered as the Patriot League leader in blocks, added 15 more. Sophomore Mimi Richards led the way, tying a program record with 10 block assists.

Everyone was getting in on the block party for Bucknell, including senior setter Luz Nagle with seven block assist. Senior Celeste Barker contributed five block assists, while senior Hailey Stout and sophomore Sophie Bullard added four and three, respectively.

Richards registered her first double-double of the season, adding 10 kills. Bullard notched her fourth consecutive double-double while leading the team in both kills with 14 and digs with 18. Freshman Delanie Lewis upped her playing time and came through with 10 kills and nine digs.

But Bucknell’s stellar defensive play wasn’t enough. Addison Root led Providence to the win with 17 kills. Allison Impellizeri, the sister of former Bucknell women’s basketball player Micki Impellizeri, added 12 kills.

ECU 3, Bucknell 0 Bri Wood tallied 12 kills on .611 hitting to lead ECU past Bucknell, 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-13) in the Bison’s second match of the day.

Bullard’s double-double streak came to an end at four matches. She led the team with 15 digs and tied Richards for the team lead with seven kills. Nagle tallied 22 assists, while Richards tacked on another five block assists.