Naval Academy Women's Volleyball Player Dies

Kristen Dickmann

May 7, 2008

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Kristen Dickmann, a freshman at the Naval Academy who was a member of the school's volleyball team, died Monday afternoon.

Dickmann, who turned 19 years old three weeks ago, was found by her roommates unconscious and not breathing in her bed in Bancroft Hall in the late morning of May 5. Emergency personnel responded to the scene and rushed her to Anne Arundel Medical Center where she was later pronounced dead at 12:46 p.m.

"The Naval Academy is deeply saddened by this sudden and tragic loss. Our most heartfelt sympathies and condolences go out to Kristen's family," said Naval Academy Superintendent, Vice Adm. Jeffrey L. Fowler.

The Dickmann family -- parents, Doug and Carrie; older brother, Kyle; older sister, Cassie -- calls the Borough of Kennett Square, Pa., (located between Philadelphia and Wilmington, Del.) home. Kristen graduated from Unionville High School in 2007, earning four letters as a member of the school's volleyball team and serving as the captain of the team during her senior season. In addition to garnering all-league accolades in the sport as a junior, Dickmann also earned all-league, all-area and all-state laurels as a senior.

Dickmann was one of only two freshman to appear on Navy's 2007 volleyball team roster. A defensive specialist, she appeared in 10 matches and 14 games during the campaign and totaled eight service aces and eight digs on the year. She received extensive playing time during Navy's 2008 spring season, a slate that concluded with her and the Mids competing against Juniata and her sister who is a junior on the team.

"When we played Juniata on the last day of the spring season, without giving Kristen any advance notice I asked her to give the scouting report on their team," said Navy head coach Mike Schwob. "She immediately went into great detail on all of their players. Afterwards, I was told Cassie was overheard saying during the match, 'Stop tipping to my sister. She knows where you are hitting to.'"

Based upon her play this spring, Dickmann was expected to compete for a starting position this coming fall.

Service arrangements for Dickmann are still pending.

More thoughts on Kristen Dickmann from the Navy volleyball team
Navy head coach Mike Schwob
"Even though she was just a freshman, we put her out in front with many of our recruits this year. She was so upbeat about volleyball and the Naval Academy. We trusted her to be in the position of being the face of Navy volleyball."

"I never saw a day when Kristen was not smiling. Even with all of the difficulties of plebe year at the Naval Academy, she always found something to smile about. That says a lot about her personality."

Senior defensive specialist/libero and 2007 team captain Aimee' Burns
"Kristen always gave words of encouragement to everyone. Even if you felt as if you had just played the worst game ever, she found something good in the match and it helped picked us up. I took her words to heart and it meant a lot. Even though she didn't play much this year, her encouragement was a major contribution to the team."

Senior middle blocker Lindi Conner
"Kristen would always play to us about how she was not nervous about things, like grades, but she worked very hard at everything she did and that helped her perform at a high level. She always seemed so happy and so free."

Junior outside hitter Jessie Sims
"From the first day, Kristen never seemed nervous about being a plebe at Navy or on the team. Even though she didn't see that much playing time this fall, she never complained about anything and was a really important part of the team. I think she took more volleyballs to the face than anyone because she would dive on the ground constantly in an effort to make a play."

Sophomore outside hitter Aubrey Manes
"I was Kristen's host when she was a recruit and I remember liking her from the beginning for her wit, all the while noting her sense of confidence in life that she radiated."

Freshman setter Jenny Rudewicz
"Kristen always lit up the room with her smile and she always had a story to tell. No matter how bad your day was she could always cheer you up with a funny story. She was always so positive and so smart, always caring about everyone. She loved life and lived every day to its fullest. The world has lost a little bit of sunshine. I will miss her."