Patrick Sibley, a 21-year-old former Natick High School volleyball star, died early Sunday morning when struck by a train outside Washington, D.C., according to Washington transit authorities and George Mason University, where Sibley was a student.
Sibley would have been a senior at George Mason, where he played on the men’s volleyball team.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority reported that a 21-year-old white male from Massachusetts was struck and killed by an inbound Orange Line train shortly before 2 a.m. while on the tracks between the East Falls Church and Ballston stations in Arlington, Va. Transit officials said the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
George Mason confirmed Sibley was the individual killed in the accident, which is being investigated.
“The Mason community is deeply saddened to hear of the death of Patrick Sibley,” said Tom O’Connor, George Mason athletic director, in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, his friends, teammates, and all who are affected by this tragedy.”
Sibley’s older brother, Shaun, also played volleyball for George Mason.
Patrick Sibley was a key contributor to Natick’s 2007 state title team, which featured Sibley — then a freshman — and Shaun, who was a senior at the time.
Patrick Sibley graduated from Natick High in 2010. He then spent a year playing volleyball at Sacred Heart University, but transferred to George Mason the following year.
He sat out the 2012 season per NCAA transfer rules, but burst onto the scene in his first season as a Patriot in 2013, when he was named to the All-Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association first team. He led George Mason with 77 blocks and was second in services aces with 21.
“Patrick Sibley was a world-class athlete,” George Mason head coach Fred Chao said. “In a brief period of time he quickly developed into a dominant volleyball player. However, it was his love for his teammates and friends that shined the brightest.”
Peter Suxho, Sibley’s volleyball coach at Natick High, heard the news from a coaching acquaintance Monday morning.
Suxho described Patrick as the type of player who was the first to get to practice and the last to leave, also calling him “one of our best players.”
“He was tall for his age,” Suxho said. “He had a lot of desire to be like his brother.”
George Mason listed Sibley at 6 feet 8 inches.
Patrick and Shaun played together last season, when the Patriots finished 15-12, capped by a loss to Harvard in the EIVA Tournament semifinals. Shaun graduated in May.
“Shaun was a great motor for [Patrick] to become a great player,” Suxho said.Stephen Sellner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org