By Michael WellsSports Information Director
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The first game of the conference volleyball season for No. 22 Occidental College and No. 15 California Lutheran University felt like one of the last.
In a matchup between two teams likely to meet later this year with SCIAC championship implications on the line, The Tigers came up short in their quest to take down the defending champion Regals on the road, losing 25-21, 21-25, 25-21, 25-12.
The Tigers were at their best in Game 2, but could not mimic that effort in the other three games. In the first three, the teams traded off 25-21 victories, but the Regals ran away with Game 4 and the match.
"They are a very good team with very good ball control. They were very aggressive attacking and they played together as a team," Occidental coach Heather Collins said. "We did not respond well and step up when we needed to."
A win would have been the perfect start to conference play for the Tigers after taking down two top 25 teams at the Trinity National Invitational over the weekend.
"It was a big game but it is just one game and they're seeded No. 1 in our conference. We have some work to do to catch up," Collins said. "I believe in my team. We need to be discipline and aggressive and that's what we'll do when we get in the gym tomorrow."
Madyson Cassidy, who had 29 digs for Oxy, said the team just was not clicking the way they had in their victories three days prior.
"I think we didn't rely on one another enough," Cassidy said. "We didn't play as a team like we did over the weekend."
Occidental returns to action Friday on the road at Pomona-Pitzer at 7:30 p.m.
"The attitude has to be get over it, learn from this loss, move forward and not let it happen it again," Cassidy said. "We need to come together as a team to beat Pomona on Friday."