Swimming and Diving Welcomes in Nine to Class of 2023

SHU swimming announced nine incoming first-year student-athletes on Tuesday. (Credit: Larry Levanti)
SHU swimming announced nine incoming first-year student-athletes on Tuesday. (Credit: Larry Levanti)

FAIRFIELD, Conn.- Sacred Heart University women's swimming and diving head coach John Spadafina announced the Pioneers recruiting class for 2019. SHU welcomes Ashley Ayala, Casey Barrett, Kelly Bartnett, Julia Brzezinski, Alivia Gibson, Hyzel Lim, Jillian Pusateri, Megan Romano, and Gabby Wira.

"We are excited for this incoming class. I am especially excited to see them grow as they are all great additions to this program," said Spadafina. "The direction of this team is on the rise and I can't wait for the 2019-20 season."


Ayala is a senior at Monroe Woodbury High School in Highland Mills, N.Y. where she was inducted into the National Honor Society as well as the Spanish National Honor Society. Ayala comes from the New York Sharks Swim Club and will compete in the butterfly, individual medley, and freestyle events. ­­



Barrett is an incoming freshman from Longmeadow High School in Longmeadow, Mass. Barret received honors all four years and is a three-time high school Sectional Champion in the 100 backstroke and 200 individual medley. Barret is expected to swim the backstroke and individual medley for the Pioneers.

Bartnett is graduating from St. Dominic High School in Bayonne, N.J. and will swim freestyle and backstroke for the Pioneers. She currently swims for the Scarlet Aquatic Club and is a Speedo Sectional qualifier. Bartnett was inducted into the French National Honor Society and is a member of Mu Alpha Theta.


Brzezinski comes to Sacred Heart from Wallington, N.J. She swims for the Scarlet Aquatic Club and is a NJ Zone qualifier. Brzezinski will compete in the backstroke events.


Gibson attends Belleview High School in Summerfield, Fla. where she is a member of the Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) program. Gibson is a Florida high school All-State finalist and is expected to swim the freestyle, backstroke and individual medley for the Pioneers.



Lim is a senior at Division Ave High School in Levittown, N.Y. where she is a Scholastic Academic student and a four-time All-Conference swimmer in the butterfly, freestyle, and individual medley events. Lim is expected to contribute in butterfly, freestyle, and individual medley.



Pusateri is a freestyle and breaststroke swimmer from Franklin Square, N.Y. She is a Scholar-Athlete and a member of both the National Honor Society and the World Languages Honor Society. Pusateri is a three-time MVP and a five-time All-Conference team member. She is projected to compete in freestyle and breaststroke events for the Pioneers.


Romano is a National Honors Society member from Sayville High School in Sayville, N.Y. She is a two-time All-league award winner, two-time All-state honoree, and currently holds the 11-dive school record with a score of 478.65. Romano is set to compete on both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving boards.


Wira is team captain of Hands High School in Madison, Conn. She comes from Shoreline Aquatics Club and will swim in the breaststroke events. 

The 2018-19 team had an undefeated home record at the McCann Natatorium which included four new pool records and the first-ever victories over Central Connecticut State University and LIU Post. The Pioneer swim team ranked 22nd in the nation with a 3.58 cumulative GPA, receiving CSCAA Scholastic All Americans honors, in the fall 2018 semester