Mikayla Pivec: Beaver legend on and off the court

Ron Callan
NBC Sports Northwest

Let's be straight.

Oregon State Beavers senior Mikayla Pivec was robbed.

Robbed of her final chance to lead the Beavers to the Final Four for a second time. She was primed as a senior on the Oregon State roster to take the Beavers deep into the NCAA Tournament.  But, the Coronavirus took care of that. Now, she is in a kind of limbo no one would want. Will the NCAA allow the seniors who were denied their incredible opportiunity another year of eligibility?  The early returns on that are pretty mixed. Pivec says she would return "in a heartbeat" if given another year of eligibility, She is willing to put the WNBA on hold to make that happen. That tells you a ton about her character, her passion for the sport she loves and her love of Oregon State.

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Pivec is possibly the most versatile player in the history of the Beaver Women's basketball program and has been a part of so many incredible moments in OSU's recent runs during her time in Corvallis.

2016-2017

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Pivec's freshman year was a sneak peek into her potential. She made the Pac-12 All Freshman team. She averaged 7.5 points per game and five rebounds. And she was a part of Beaver sports history when Oregon State topped Stanford in Palo Alto in double overtime, 72-69. Pivec had 13 points and three boards. I still have this picture of the scoreboard at Maples Pavilion on my phone.

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2017-18

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Pivec showed that versatility in her sophomore season playing a ton of point guard for the first time. She was a big part of college basketball history. The Beavers had to travel to Knoxville, Tennessee for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tourney. The Lady Vols of Tennessee had never lost an NCAA game at home going all the way back to the first NCAA Tournament in 1982 building up a 57-0 record. Pivec had 18 points and seven rebounds in the 66-59 upset, sending the Tennessee fans home in shock and the Beavers to the Sweet Sixteen in Lexington the following weekend. Here is a post-game interview with Mikayla , Marie Gulich and Katie McWilliams who all played a big part in the win.

A week later the Beavers put together another huge game to make more history. An upset of Baylor in Lexington, Kentucky at Rupp Arena. Marie Gulich was a monster for Oregon State scoring 26 and Mikayla had seven points seven rebounds and nine assists. The Beavers were headed to the Elite Eight for a second time and there was another post game featuring Marie, Katie, Taya Corosdale and Mik.

2018-19

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This was another outstanding season for Pivec. She reached the 1.000 point mark against the Ducks. She was part of another Sweet Sixteen team. Mikayla was the key reason the Beavers got that far. Boise State was ready to leave Gill with a huge upset leading Oregon State by four points with just 17 seconds to go. Mikayla had a key steal and a basket to help the Beavs survive to Overtime and then won it over the Broncos 80-75. Pivec had 20 points and 12 boards. 

The Beavers then topped Gonzaga and eventually fell to Louisville in the battle for the Elite Eight. All in all, it was an impressive Junior season for Mikayla. 

She was a WBCA All-America Honorable Mention, All Pac-12 first team, and an Academic All-America Second Team.

On the court she averaged 15.2 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. She shot 52.6 percent from the floor which was the second-best percentage in the Pac-12 and tops among conference guards.

2019-20

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Mikayla's senior season started early. She was selected as a member of Team USA's university division. She made the trek with Team USA to Lima, Peru to participate in the Pan American games.

Mikayla's trip was thrilling for all of Beaver Nation. She not only was representing the United States as a current member of the Oregon State Beavers but she had an incredible reunion with three other Beavers taking part in the Pan Am Games:

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Ali Gibson the Beaver alum from 2012-2015 was representing Puerto Rico and Jamie Weisner Scott and Ruth Hamblin who were part of the Final Four team in 2016 representing Canada at the Pan Am Games. Suzie Merchant the Team USA Coach and Michigan State's coach talked about Mikayla after the first game.

Mikayla also went to Italy during her senior year with the Beavers. She was a key member of a team that had to deal with a ton of adversity. Key injuries to Taya Corosdale and Kennedy Brown. Mikayla stepped up...a 5'10" guard. Mikayla became the all-time leading rebounder in Oregon State history. She is a first-team Academic All-American and oh ya...graduated in three years at Oregon State majoring in Bio Health sciences.

Mikayla is also a huge giver. She is an important part of the Corvallis community away from basketball. She volunteers for Catholic Community services helping low-income families with household chores and yardwork. She also volunteered with Earthcorps to help remove invasive  and litter from local parks. She is currently tghe leading vote-getter for the Senior Class Award honoring college basketball players for their commitment to their community.

We don't know what the future holds for Mikayla Pivec, except that her future is bright. Will she end up in the WNBA? Will that league even play this summer? Will she be granted another year of eligibility at Oregon State?  Everything is fluid for everyone in the Sports World right now. 

But i will add this: In my 45 years in the media biz I have never met or watched a more devoted and talented basketball player. I also must say she is one amazing person off the court and all basketball fans, players, coaches and staff members have been fortunate to watch her incredible time in Corvallis Wherever she winds up. she will make a positive impact on all of the people she meets and the teammates she incluences in her positive approach to life.

Mikayla Pivec: Beaver legend on and off the court originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

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