The time has finally come for the Big East tournament. After a solid year from our women, the University of Connecticut Huskies look to take on the rest of the Big East in a massive four-day affair at the Nassau County Aquatic Center in Long Island, New York. They’ll be competing against the rest of their Big East foes: Butler University, Georgetown University, Seton Hall University, Villanova University and Xavier University.
The 2021-22 swim season was good for the Huskies, as they swam well most of the way through, with few hiccups. They held a 6-3 overall record by the season’s end, with a 2-1 record versus the rest of the Big East Conference. Though they had a couple small blips along the way, like losing close meets to Villanova and the University of New Hampshire and getting blown out by Yale University, they still won enough meets to hold the best record in the conference. Though season record doesn’t ultimately matter at the Championships, it does set the benchmark for the expectations of this team.
This season also saw some stars emerge from their freshmen and sophomore groups. Swimmers Maggie Donlevy and Niamh Hofland each had breakout meets that carried the team to victory. Divers Analaura Faoro and Julia Pioso were brilliant pretty much the whole season through, consistently scoring high in both the 1-meter and 3-meter dives. It really was a testament to how youthful this team is, and how much room it still has to grow in the coming years.
Even with the younger swimmers thriving, the veteran swimmers found quite a bit of success this season. Some names that come to mind are Katelyn Walsh and Linnea Anderson, who had great all-around years, winning events and even setting records. Diver Marina Wilkins also deserves a mention for being one of the anchors for the diving squad. This part of the team added to the good mix of experience for UConn that has them poised to make a big run during the championship season.
After this long, grueling season of swimming, the Huskies have shown that they are more than ready to take on this big moment coming up. Ever since placing second last year at the tournament, I’m sure head coach Chris Maiello has his team more prepared than ever to slay the beast that is Villanova, who’s won the past eight straight Big East Championships, and bring home a conference title in swimming and diving for the first time ever.