The changing of the guard

The+changing+of+the+guard

Kalib LaChapelle, Multimedia Contributor

With Sydney Wiese’s career coming to a close, Mikayla Pivec may be next in line to lead the Oregon State women’s basketball team

This weekend’s pac-12 tournament was a passing of the torch of sorts for the Oregon State women’s basketball program.

In her final Pac-12 tournament, which culminated in a 48-43 heartbreaking loss to Stanford in the championship game, Sydney Wiese led her team with a total of 58 points and 12 rebounds in three games. Following close behind Wiese was true freshman standout for the Beavers Mikayla Pivec. She finished with 40 points and 19 rebounds in her first Pac-12 tournament.

“(Pivec) started us off on Friday with a huge performance against (California),” said head coach Scott Rueck. “She set the tone in many ways. She said ‘hey, we’re here to win, we’re here to play. Whatever it takes I’ll do.’”

The games of the tournament were a homecoming for Pivec who grew up 17 miles north of Key Arena in Lynnwood Washington. She said her family and friends had been excited to watch her play in person, and she did not disappoint. The freshman played her best stretch of games of the season as an offensive threat and a bringing defensive intensity throughout the games of the tournament.

“Coming home, playing in front of all of her family and friends. What an inspiration that was to everyone,” Rueck said. “She set the tone for us in many ways.”

Even though the Beavers lost in the championship, Pivec says the team isn’t going to let the experience cloud them.

“It was so great to come back home,” Pivec said. “Disappointing (to lose) today but we are going to keep going. There’s a lot of basketball to play — this isn’t the end for us.”

Coming into the tournament Pivec was not just a freshman making her first appearance, she was surrounded by a coach and teammates who had been to the Pac-12 tournament championship before. Even so, playing three games in three days against the best the country has to offer is a challenging experience for anyone.

“I got the full experience,” Pivec said. “We were hoping for a different result but I’m proud of how we battled today.”

The tournament was not necessarily the breakout for Pivec, who had hit double digit scoring six times before the tournament, but it was the first time she was playing on a scale as big as a tournament, and she delivered at every turn in what became arguably her most impressive games of the season.

“All year (Pivec) has been great for us,” Wiese said. “Her work ethic and intensity. She inspires me; just how she competes for us every day.”

During her first tournament Wiese performed at very high level as well, finishing with 58 points (the exact same total as her senior year) and 11 rebounds in three games in a run that ended with a loss to USC in the championship. Pivec finished her first tournament with 40 points and 19 rebounds during Wiese’s final tournament.

After the game Wiese talked to the Daily Barometer about Pivec’s performance and future for the Beavers.

“I think (Pivec) is better than me to be honest,” Wiese said. “She is so strong and her vision and IQ is a way past a freshman she learns a lot faster than I did. Whatever is asked of her she’ll be able to do”

Whenever Oregon State’s season comes to an end in the NCAA tournament, it will mark the end of the Sydney Weise-Era, but it just might be the start of a new one. The Mikayla Pivec-Era