IOWA CITY — Caroline Found was “the pulse of our team.” according to Iowa City West volleyball coach Kathy Bresnahan.
“There’s not a person that Caroline met that wasn’t her friend,” Bresnahan said Friday, after accompanying her team and scores of additional students in placing a memorial at the scene where Found was killed in a moped accident Thursday night.
Found, the setter for West’s Class 4A state-championship squad last year, was 17 and would have been a senior this year.
The moped Found was riding crashed around 9:40 p.m. along Mormon Trek Boulevard between Hawkeye Park Road and First Street in Coralville. She was not wearing a helmet.
Investigators spoke to witnesses and determined Found was southbound when she struck a curb near a curve in the street and lost control. Found and the moped struck a tree in the median. She was killed upon impact, police said.
Alcohol and drugs were not a factor in the accident.
West Athletics Director Marv Reiland said Found was returning home from a church youth meeting. He received a phone call around 2 a.m. Friday from Bresnahan.
“It’s just one of those tragedies you hope you never have to deal with,” Reiland said. “Caroline was such a fun-loving young lady. Everybody was her friend.
“Everybody knew her from volleyball, but she was a reserve on the softball team. She knew her role.
“Her teammates loved her.”
Reiland recalled a conversation with Found at volleyball practice earlier in the week.
“She told me the team was going to be better than they were last year,” Reiland said. “She said, ‘You wait. By the end of the year, we’ll be better.’
“That’s just the kind of kid she was.”
Found averaged 10.0 assists per game last season as the Women of Troy captured their first volleyball title. She earned honorable-mention all-state honors.
West finished 37-7 and swept Ankeny in the championship match.
Bresnahan, who said she had heard from “somebody from just about every school from the (Mississippi Valley) Conference,” planned to meet with the Women of Troy again Friday afternoon. She set no timetable for a return to practice.
“Getting back on the court is going to be hard for the kids,” she said. “The girls’ strength is with each other.
“It’s a tragedy whenever any young person dies. But this is really hard.”