Wopat, a 19-year-old sophomore outside hitter, died on Sunday at Stanford Hospital, surrounded by family, friends, and her teammates.
She remained in the intensive-care unit until her death.
The school has not yet released an official cause of death, but Wopat had been hospitalized since March 17 after a medical emergency at her Stanford residence.
Wopat, considered one of the nation’s top players at Dos Pueblos High School, joined the Stanford team in 2010, along with her twin, Carly Wopat. Sam didn’t play much as a freshman and sophomore.
Last year’s team finished tied for fourth in the Pac-12 with a 15-7 record and was knocked out by Michigan in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Wopat appeared in 25 sets during her sophomore year and averaged 1.16 kills per set during that time.
She played on the 2010 U.S. junior national team, one year after playing on the youth national team that competed at the world championships in Thailand. She had also been a member of three junior Olympic teams.
Besides her sister, Sam Wopat is survived by her parents, Ron and Kathy Wopat of Santa Barbara, and younger brothers Jackson and Eli.
USA Volleyball has issued the following statement on Sam Wopat’s death:
“On behalf of all of us at USA Volleyball, we are terribly saddened by the tragic and sudden passing of Samantha Wopat. Sam played on the 2009 U.S. Girls’ Youth National Volleyball Team at the FIVB World Championship and the 2010 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team at the NORCECA Continental Championship. Samantha was a bright and vibrant participant in the USA Volleyball Indoor High Performance Program with a seemingly unlimited and bright future. We cannot begin to imagine the sense of loss to the family, and we offer our thoughts and prayers to them and our most sincere condolences.”
– Doug Beal, Chief Executive Officer of USA Volleyball
What a tragic loss at such a young age. You can check out “14 Ladies” a 2010 single featuring the ladies of Stanford Volleyball, including Sam Wopat and her sister Carly, below.
- Samantha Wopat, Stanford volleyball player, dies at 19 (mercurynews.com)
- Samantha Wopat, Stanford volleyball player, dies (sfgate.com)