IOWA CITY — Caroline Found, who died in a mo-ped accident Thursday, was “the pulse of our team,” said 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 other students in placing a memorial where Found died on Mormon Trek Boulevard in Coralville.
Found, 17, of Iowa City, was the setter for West’s Class 4A state-championship squad last year. Found, who would have been a senior this year, was also a reserve on the school’s softball team.
The mo-ped Found was riding crashed around 9:40 p.m. Thursday. 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 mo-ped 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. Her teammates loved her.”
Reiland recalled that he was watching volleyball practice recently when Found called him over.
“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 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 this 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.”