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Former Natick volleyball star Patrick Sibley struck, killed by train outside D.C.

Posted by Craig Larson, Globe Staff  August 19, 2013 06:53 PM

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Patrick Sibley, a 21-year-old former volleyball star at Natick High, died early Sunday morning when he was struck by a train outside Washington D.C, according to Washington transit authorities and George Mason University, where Sibley was a student.

Sibley was entering his senior year at George Mason, where the 6-foot-8 middle blocker earned all-conference honors a year ago.

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 walking on 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 that Sibley was the individual who was killed in the accident, which is still being investigated.

"The Mason community is deeply saddened to hear of the death of Patrick Sibley," said George Mason athletic director Tom O'Connor in a statement.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, his friends, teammates, and all who are affected by this tragedy."

His older brother, Shaun, a 6-9 middle blocker, was a four-year varsity player at George Mason before graduating in May.

Patrick Sibley was a key contributor to Natick's 2007 state title team as a freshman under coach Peter Suxho, which feature Shaun, then a senior.

Patrick, a 2010 Natick High graduate, started his college career 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, where 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, who was the head volleyball coach at Natick for Sibley's entire high school tenure, learned of his shocking passing 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."

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 was a great motor for [Patrick] to become a great player," Suxho said.

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