Women’s basketball teams aims to bounce back after losing season

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Women’s basketball teams aims to bounce back after losing season

Bailey Hill shot a respectable 35.3% from behind the three-point line last season.

Bailey Hill shot a respectable 35.3% from behind the three-point line last season.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Bailey Hill shot a respectable 35.3% from behind the three-point line last season.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Bailey Hill shot a respectable 35.3% from behind the three-point line last season.

Adrian Gonzalez, Sports Editor

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After finishing second to last in the Heartland Conference last season with a 4-10 conference record, the St. Edward’s University women’s basketball team seems ready to have an improved season.

Head Coach JJ Riehl understands that although last year did not go as planned, there is still much to anticipate moving forward as the team this season is focusing on strength.

“There’s going to be plenty of adversity this year, … but how you get through that is your foundation and if your structure is strong,” Riehl said. “That’s where our focus is this year.”

Even through the challenges that a long, grueling season brings, the team is ready to make its mark.

“Last year was probably the toughest year I’ve had in my career, but this group of kids has given me hope and joy, “Riehl said. “When you look around, you’re having fun and enjoying the people you’re doing it with, that in itself just breathes excitement!”

Riehl also says that the team is eager to compete, as they have set big goals for themselves this season.

“I think this group wants to do something that no other team: trying to advance to the national tournament. Those expectations aren’t necessarily different from any other year, but I think this group this year is really focused on that,” Riehl said.

In a recent Heartland Conference preseason poll, SEU is projected to finish in sixth place out of eight teams in the conference. But senior guard Bailey Hill says that outside doubters don’t faze the team’s mentality heading into the season.

“This really happens every year where we’re the underdogs; we’re undermined. People don’t respect us and other teams don’t respect us,” Hill said. “We’re just going into the season and conference ready to show people what we have.”

Hill is one of nine returners to the team and plans on playing a bigger role. Last season, she was the second leading scorer on the team, as well as a knockdown three-point shooter.

Accompanying Hill are upperclassmen guards Isabel Hernandez, who earned a Second Team 2017-18 All-Heartland selection, and Lexi Cunningham, key playmaker who led the team in assists last season.

Hill said she and all of her teammates are ready to get to work and earn the team recognition.

“Just competing and playing as hard as we can, giving it all we got [is our mindset]. We go into practice ready to play, “ Hill said. “We fight and we compete. If we just keep that mentality, we’ll be good.”

The SEU women’s basketball team is set to kick of their season on the road and face Colorado Christian Friday, Nov. 9.