olympic rings

The signature Olympic rings hang in display. 

The list of Olympic participants that were former Oregon State student-athletes is a long one, spanning over a dozen events in over a century’s worth of Olympic games.

But the list for volleyball Olympic athletes that were former Beavers is a much shorter one. It does not have the length of sports with more than ten competitors like basketball or wrestling. Rather, Oregon State’s Olympic participants in the sport of volleyball is a list of one, former Beaver Selina Scoble.

Before taking her talents to the Olympic stage for the Australian National Team in the 2000 Summer Olympic Games, Scoble was a three-year player for the Oregon State volleyball team. Starting in 1996 and finishing her college playing days in 1998, Scoble was part of three Beavers’ rosters, each with varying degrees of team success.

The 1996 season, from a team perspective, was the most successful of Scoble’s college career. Finishing 19-12 on the season, the Beavers put together their first winning season since 1993, and their most wins since 1990 when the team finished 23-10. The team took a hit in 1997 through 1998, finishing with losing records in both years, but that ‘98 season marked a career peak for Scoble.

The future Australian Olympian turned in a career year for the Beavers in 1998, etching the name Selina Scoble across the Oregon State record books, and especially for block records. Scoble’s 128 block assists in a season still stand third all-time in school history, while ranking fourth in total blocks for a season and first in blocks per set.

While the block stats serve as a highlight for Scoble’s 1998 season, the Oregon State star was getting some national recognition as well as an All PAC-10 Honorable Mention and First-Team Academic All-American in 1998. 

That recognition, along with the records she set with the Beavers, would serve as a sign for the national stage Scoble would reach by the year 2000. Where, by the time of the Sydney Summer Olympics, Scoble was selected to play for the Australian Women’s Volleyball National Team. 

Scoble joined three other Oregon State alumni in the 2000 Summer Olympic games, including Gary Payton for men’s basketball, Amy Martin for women’s rowing and Greg Strobel for wrestling. But Scoble’s Olympic appearance was marking history for the Beavers, being the first and only volleyball appearance from a student-athlete who played the sport at Oregon State.

Scoble’s Australian National Team played in four matches in the Group Stage of the Olympics, but were unable to advance out of Group A that year. The highlight for the National Team came in their second game of the group round, where Australia was able to secure their first and only win, a three sets to one match victory over Kenya.

Australia officially finished in ninth place in those 2000 Summer Olympics, but by 22 years old, Selina Scoble was already an Olympian. Not only does her status as the university’s first and only volleyball participant in the Olympics still stand, but so do the school records she set during her 1998 run with the program.

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