Two women’s basketball players earn All-Heartland conference team selections


Courtesy of SEU Athletics Communications

Senior forward Isabel Hernandez ends her collegiete career with an All-Heartland Conference First-Team selection.

The women’s basketball team ended their season in the semi-finals of the Heartland Conference, where they lost to Lubbock Christian 46-62. Despite this, the team finished with a winning 16-14 record and players Isabel Hernandez and Maryam Wilcher were honored at the conference.

Hernandez was selected for the All-Heartland First Team, and Wilcher got honorable mention. The senior forward says that she knew she wanted to see improvements in herself this season.

“My previous year, I knew I could have given more. So my goal this year was to improve in every single category and make the best out of it.”

Isabel is from Rome, Italy, where she played Division I basketball. She says that St. Edward’s helped her grow not only on the court, but also academically.

“St. Edward’s really gave me joy back. My previous school was University of Maine, a pretty big public school. I enjoy learning, but when I was there, I did not enjoy going to class. But here, I know I’m going to enjoy it. The vibe around St. Edward’s really helped me grow.”

Wilcher still has one more year with the program and says that her goals are to advance in the conference and focus on her mentality.

“I want to see us go farther in the conference tournament, especially because we’re entering the Lone Star Conference. My personal goals are just to be the best player I can be so I can help my teammates. I want to improve as much as I can and focus on my mentality going into the season. I believe it all begins with your mental health.”

She says that her favorite part of the season was when her team beat Rogers State.

“We had kept losing to them in the conference, but we ended up beating them in the first round. It was just really exciting and we had a lot of good energy during that game.”

Coach JJ Riehl says the team saw major improvements this season compared to last season.

“Two years ago, we were plagued by injuries and we were coming off a championship season. This year, we were a little more hungry. I think our relationships were better than they were the year before, and that gave us a chance in tough moments,” Riehl says.

Riehl also spoke of Hernandez and Wilcher’s achievements during the season.

“Isa had an unbelievable year. She was third in the conference in scoring, third in rebounds. And Mar was very consistent and steady.”

Riehl’s message for Wilcher is that she, and the rest of the incoming senior class, continue to build their relationships with each other.

“You can’t get to the top without being a great teammate. I think the biggest message is to figure out how to do that on a consistent basis and lead your teammates in a manner in which they follow you.”

As for her message for Hernandez, Riehl says it’s the same one she has for all her seniors.

“I hope that they leave here feeling fulfilled and at peace with their college careers. I hope that they look back on their time here with love and joy and that they always know that they have a home here. I think the biggest thing for me is that when you have the opportunity to make someone’s day, you take advantage of that opportunity. I hope that they go out and take that opportunity every day.”