No. 4 Utah (8-1, 197.300) at No. 23 Oregon State (2-4, 195.950)
When: Friday, 6 p.m. MST
Venue: Gill Coliseum (9,604 capacity), Corvallis, Oregon
Livestream: Pac-12 Networks Live
Series: Utah has been the dominant side in the series with Oregon State. The Red Rocks lead the Beavers 72-10-1, a record that includes an 18-9 mark in Corvallis. Utah has won the last seven matchups, with the last loss coming on the road in 2017. Last season, Utah defeated Oregon State at home in Salt Lake City, 197.100 to 196.275, but the team wasn’t all that happy with the overall result, despite scoring a 49.450 on vault and 49.600 on beam and with individual events victories belonging to Sydney Soloski (floor) and Maile O’Keefe (beam).
For Utah: With the postseason right around the corner and NQS taking over in the rankings, Utah’s Pac-12 regular-season finale is replete with meaning and import. If the Red Rocks defeat the Beavers, they will claim an outright Pac-12 regular-season title for the second straight year. Additionally, if they score better than a 196.900, they will replace their lowest meet score that is still being counted this season — their win at the Best of Utah — improving their chances for a higher seed come the postseason.
For Oregon State: The Beavers have had an up-and-down season, with wins over only Washington — twice — and losses to Arizona State, Boise State, Cal and UCLA. That said, Oregon State is coming off a new season-high score against the Bruins, a 196.500, and the Beavers have improved incrementally in every meet this season. They are now ranked No. 23 in the country, after previously hovering around the mid-30’s mark. In order to maintain its probable place at NCAA regionals, OSU needs to continue to improve and a strong enough outing against Utah could give the Beavers the confidence needed to make some noise at the Pac-12 Championships.
For Utah: It all goes back to O’Keefe for Utah this season. The sophomore is the top-ranked gymnast on beam in the entire country and eighth in all-around. She is a three-time Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week and 13-time event winner to boot. After O’Keefe, Abby Paulson, is the fourth-ranked beamer in the NCAA and a two-time event winner. Alexia Burch has been great on vault, where she is ranked No. 5, while Soloski and Cristal Isa are ranked No. 14 and No. 16 on floor and uneven bars, respectively. All told, O’Keefe, Burch (4), Isa (3), Soloski (3), Cammy Hall (2), Paulson and Jaedyn Rucker (1) have all recorded event victories this season.
For Oregon State: The Beavers have one of the larger rosters in the Pac-12, with 19 total gymnasts. Leading them all is junior Madi Dagen. Dagen is tied for sixth in the nation on vault and is ranked No. 19 on beam. Senior Kaitlyn Yanish, meanwhile, is tied for No. 14 on floor and is neck and neck with Soloski for first place in the Pac-12. As a team, OSU ranks No. 13 in the nation on vault and floor and No. 19 on beam.
Utah will host Utah State on senior night. The Red Rocks lead the all-time series against Aggies 91-3 and are 24-1 against their in-state competition on a neutral floor. Utah last hosted USU in 2016 and has never lost to the Aggies in the Huntsman Center. Ranked No. 20, Utah State is in the midst of one of the best seasons in program history and tied the fourth-best score in school history last week in the 196.925-196.600 loss to No. 11 BYU.
Jan. 9 — vs. No. 11 BYU, No. 15 Southern Utah and No. 20 Utah State (Best of Utah)
Jan. 17 — at No. 2 Oklahoma
Jan. 23 — vs. Arizona
Jan. 30 — vs. Washington
Feb. 6 — at No. 7 ASU
Feb. 15 — BYE
Feb. 19 — vs. No. 10 UCLA
Feb. 26 — vs. No. 9 California
March 5 — at No. 23 Oregon State (6 p.m.)
March 12 — vs. No. 20 Utah State (7 p.m., TBD)
March 20 — Pac-12 championships (TBD)
All times MST