Irvine Valley's men's volleyball team played better the second time it faced off against Orange Coast.
But it wasn't quite enough to earn a victory.
After getting swept at home by the top-ranked Pirates two weeks ago, No. 2 Irvine Valley was closer this time around in a four-set Orange Empire Conference loss to OCC on the road on Wednesday night.
Orange Coast came out on top, 25-14, 25-22, 22-25, 25-20.
The win was the 16th in a row for Orange Coast (17-1, 7-0) and clinched the Orange Empire Conference title for the Pirates.
Irvine Valley's record went to 14-3 overall and 5-2 in conference.
The opening set had the same feel as the first matchup of the season as the Pirates - winners over the Lasers 25-20, 25-11, 25-15 at IVC on March 24 - jumped out to a 19-11 lead and cruised to an opening-set win. Justin Kam had three kills, while Jordan Hoppe added two during that run, leading Coast to a 1-0 lead in the match.
IVC regrouped and battled OCC throughout the second set, a set which saw the lead change sides nine different times.
Irvine Valley led, 20-19, before kills by Hoppe and Zane Moothart pushed OCC ahead, 21-20.
An OCC serve went long to even the score at 21 before the Pirates picked up three critical points in a row to lead, 24-21.
A block by Hoppe, a kill by Austin Marriott and a wide return by the Lasers pushed Coast to a set-point opportunity.
After IVC made it 24-22 on a double-hit violation, the Lasers sent a return wide, giving OCC a 2-0 lead in the match.
OCC led, 5-4, early in the third set before the Lasers caught fire and used an 11-4 run to grab the lead for good in the third set. Irvine Valley remained alive.
It was another back-and-forth battle in the fourth set as the Lasers and Pirates battled to a 14-14 tie. OCC went on a 5-1 spurt to take a 19-15 advantage.
Irvine Valley pulled within three at 22-19, but the Pirates managed to close things out.
Hoppe had 20 kills, while Kam added 18 kills for OCC. Setters Jacob Gilliam and Colby Elder combined for 54 assists, while on defense, Elder and Cole Aidnik each came up with four digs for the Pirates.
For the Lasers, freshman outside hitter Patrick Furlong led the way with 12 kills, while freshman middle blocker Matt August knocked down nine kills and a team-best six blocks. Freshman setter Austin McBain dished out 35 assists.
Irvine Valley will wrap up the regular season on Friday with a home match against Fullerton at 6 p.m. It is a big match in terms of postseason playoff seeding for both teams. Irvine Valley is in second place with Fullerton in third - just a match behind the Lasers.
Irvine Valley won the final two sets to come back and beat Fullerton in five sets the first time the two teams met.
On Friday, Irvine Valley will also be honoring its 2007 state championship team during the match. That squad won a state title, upsetting Long Beach City in five sets (15-13 in the fifth). The team won a conference title and finished with a record of 17-3 overall.