© St. Petersburg Times, published October 23, 2002
LECANTO -- Danielle Albury did not want flowers or presents. There was no ceremony to honor Seven Rivers Christian's lone senior on Senior Night.
Her Warrior teammates knew the best thing to do was to beat Lecanto, which they hadn't done in Albury's career. They did it Tuesday at home, 15-12, 15-13. "In my high school career to be 0-5 and to finally win one -- and it was a two-game win -- felt very good," Albury said.
The standout setter/hitter had 19 kills, 14 assists and three blocks. Seven Rivers (23-1) lost to Lecanto 15-11, 15-8 on Sept. 26.
On Tuesday, Warriors coach Scott Lyons wanted to mix up the offense by giving additional swings to Rachel Capra and Rachel Ebert to keep Panther blockers guessing.
"We threw the ball all over; it was our best offensive night as far as moving it around," he said.
Junior Alice Zeiss, who had 11 kills and 16 assists, started with a kill for a sideout and an ace to begin the scoring. But the Panthers also served tough and went up 7-3 on an ace by Heather Pontius, who had five service points in the game.
A kill by Albury gave Seven Rivers a 14-12 lead. Lecanto sided out but missed its serve, and Zeiss tipped the ball for the winner.
The second game was tied at 12 on an Albury kill. Lecanto took the lead on a tough serve by MaryAnn Emberley, but after several sideouts the ball dropped in the middle of the Panthers defense.
After several long rallies Albury put down the ball for match point at 14-13. On her next spike attempt the officials were not sure whether the ball hit the court or the defensive player and a replay was called, but a Panthers hitting error ended the match anyway.
Lecanto coach Kathy Allen said her team did not play well defensively in dropping to 10-9.
"We were going for the dig and stopping halfway through," Allen said. "We wouldn't go after it and I don't know why, it was just one of those things. We couldn't get a handle on Danielle Albury tonight."
Pontius led the Panthers with seven kills and four aces, and Stacey Lowe had five kills and two aces. Amanda Whitelaw (3 kills, 3 aces) and Kacie Henderson (3 kills) also contributed.
Lecanto travels to Crystal River on Thursday.