A season that has the potential to end as one of the best in program history, started off with a first on Wednesday when the Oregon State women’s basketball team was ranked No. 7 in the first The Associated Poll.
The Beavers were No. 8 to open the season last year and ended 11th, falling to Louisville in the Sweet 16.
Oregon enters the season at No. 1 with Stanford coming in at No. 3 to give the Pac-12 three teams in the top seven.
“It says a lot to be ranked that high but we don’t really care that much about (the rankings),” junior Taya Corosdale said. “Of course we want to be No. 1 and that’s what we’re going to work toward this year.”
The Beavers have been ranked in preseason polls in each of the last five seasons.
“It shows how much coach (Scott) Rueck and other coaches have put into this program and how hard we work day in and day out,” junior Aleah Goodman said. “So I think that’s awesome to kind of get some recognition for that.”
UCLA is No. 11 with Arizona State in at No. 20. Arizona received eight points after winning the WNIT last season.
“It definitely shows that the Pac-12 is tough,” Goodman said. “Every night it’s going to be a really good game. But as a program we try not to really pay attention to those things. To me we have yet to play a real game.”
Reigning champion Baylor is No. 2 with Maryland No. 4, Connecticut No. 5 and Texas A&M No. 6.
South Carolina, Louisville and Mississippi State round out the top 10.
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The ACC has six teams in the poll with the Pac-12, SEC and Big Ten all with five to take up 21 of the 25 spots.
The Beavers have two more exhibition games before opening the regular season at home on Nov. 9 against UC Irvine in the preseason WNIT.
The first is this Friday at 6 p.m. against Concordia inside Gill Coliseum. Admission is free.
Then comes Team USA at 7 p.m. on Monday, also inside Gill.
The Beavers shook off a slow start and rolled to a 95-41 exhibition win over Union University last Sunday.
Oregon State had four players in double figures, led by freshman post Taylor Jones, who finished with 27 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots.
Destiny Slocum had a solid game with 16 points and five assists while Mikayla Pivec added her typical all-around game with 14 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Kennedy Brown, another freshman, added 12 points and seven rebounds.
Rueck said after the game Sunday he was excited to take a look at the film and pick it apart.
“You search for the evidence and then you make your case for where you’re going, where you’ve been, you make your case to have confidence because we’ve made a lot of progress,” he said. “I can look at this film and say yes, we’ve been working on this, look how well we did it.
“Then there were things that we’re obviously incorrect. We’ve talked about his but now we have film. It is just a learning process. I get to teach from live film and film doesn’t lie, as they say.”