Looking back at OSU Sports 2017-18

General Sports Graphic

Jarred Bierbrauer, Sports Reporter

Volleyball

Prior to the midpoint of their season, the Oregon State volleyball team was ranked eleventh in the Pac-12 and had zero wins on the road. That was, however, before the night of Friday, Oct. 13, 2017. 

The Beavers, who desperately needed a win to stay in the playoff picture, were going to Seattle to take on the nationally-ranked University of Washington. In a five-set thriller, OSU took down the Huskies with a comeback from a 1-2 set deficit. 

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During the game, senior outside hitter Mary Kate-Marshall scored 25 kills and 10 digs to keep the Beavers in the game. Marshall, a star player throughout her entire career at OSU, did exceptionally well in her senior season, and was named Pac-12 All-Conference First Team. 

It was the first time that the Beavers defeated the Huskies since 2001 and was the spark to a 10-12 run that sent the team to the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament. 

Head coach Mark Barnard, who was named the 2017 Pac-12 Coach of the Year, was inspired by the team’s performance throughout the season.

“That’s resiliency,” Barnard said. “It’s not giving up in the face of having lost two sets, even in the sets we lost we stayed fighting until the end. That’s such a strong thing in volleyball.”

OSU ended up losing in the first round of the tournament to NC State on a 2-3 match, but the once-ranked eleventh in Pac-12 Beavers finished seventh in the conference and had two historic five-game winning streaks to end their regular season.

Men’s Basketball

On Feb. 10, 2018, the Oregon State men’s basketball team were set to host the University of Washington at Gill Coliseum for a mid-season conference battle. 

The Huskies had control for a majority of the game, having a lead as large as 13 points. Below the seven minute mark of the second half, UW lead by 12 points and looked to close out the game.

The Beavers, specifically sophomore forward Tres Tinkle, fought back and ended up tying the game 80-80 when Tinkle put up a contested layup with 41 seconds left in the game. 

The game advanced into overtime, where junior guard Stephen Thompson Jr. missed two free throws with four seconds left in the period that could have won the game for the Beavers. This resulted in a second overtime with the game tied at 87-87.

After more back and forth play between the Beavers the Huskies, it all came down to the wire when Washington’s freshman forward Dominic Green made one of two free throws to tie the game 94-94 with 11 seconds left in double overtime. 

As the clock ticked down, Thompson Jr. dribbled the ball down court and stepped back beyond the 3-point line to put up a shot. Thompson’s three pointer went down and Gill Coliseum erupted. Final score 97-94 OSU. 

Thompson’s game winner was a mirror image of what he had done two years prior against the same team, in the same stadium and from the same spot on the court. 

Tinkle had a career night with 29 points and 11 rebounds, while Thompson Jr. put up 22 points off of four 3-pointers and six steals to cap the win. 

Baseball

After blowing out the University of Minnesota 8-1 in the first game of the NCAA Super Regionals, the OSU baseball team needed one more win in the series to advance on to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.

Holding the home field advantage and a higher national ranking, the Beavers were the favored team going into the matchup, but the Golden Gophers had other ideas. Minnesota held a 3-2 lead for the sixth and seventh inning with a standout performance from freshman pitcher Patrick Fredrickson.

The Beavers needed some momentum, and senior outfielder Kyle Nobach answered the call. Nobach stepped up to the plate in the top of the eighth and drove one down the right line, letting junior outfielder Trevor Larnach run home to tie the game up 3-3. 

In the top of the ninth inning, the bases were loaded as sophomore catcher Adley Rutschman approached the plate. Rutschman, known by his teammates as “Clutchman,” nailed a base hit up center field allowing two Beavers to run home making the score 5-3.

After junior infielder Michael Gretler and Nobach were both hit by pitches, OSU moved up  6-3 on the scoreboard. Freshman pitcher Christian Chamberlain stepped in as a relief for junior Bryce Fehmel in the seventh inning to put the game away with five strikeouts off of 36 pitches. 

With this win, the Beavers advanced to the NCAA College World Series for the seventh time in the program’s history. 

Women’s Basketball

For the 2017-18 season, the Oregon State women’s basketball team were looking to match their performance from last year when they took first in the 2017 seasonal Pac-12 ranking. 

With center Marie Gulich looking to finish her senior year on a high note and sophomore Mikayla Pivec becoming a new starter at point guard, the Beavers were set to shoot for the stars once more. 

Gulich ended her senior season with a .652 field goal percentage, 17.5 points per game and 9.2 rebounds per game. The All-Pac-12 center was drafted 12th overall in the 2018 WNBA Draft by the Phoenix Mercury shortly after the end of the season.

A memorable night for Gulich was her senior day performance against the Southern California Trojans. The German-born center put up 25 points with a .750 field goal percentage and brought down nine rebounds to help the Beavers top the Trojans 69-63. 

Pivec was also a key to the success of the women’s basketball team, especially through her ability to create plays. 

Having played almost 1000 minutes, Pivec managed 365 points, 233 rebounds and 165 assists on her sophomore season as a Beaver. 

With these star players on the court, the Beavers managed to finish fourth in the Pac-12 and advanced to the Elite Eight of the 2018 NCAA Tournament after ultimately upsetting the No. 2 seed Baylor Bears in the Sweet 16.

The Beavers finished the season with a 26-8 record and were the second team in OSU history to advance to the Elite Eight.