© St. Petersburg Times, published February 14, 2003
LECANTO -- In the end, Danielle Albury wanted the University of Tampa as much as it wanted her. The Seven Rivers Christian volleyball star will sign a letter of intent in April and join the Spartans lineup next fall.
"I was pretty much always for sure that I was going to end up at Tampa," Albury said. "I know it's Division II and everyone is like 'Division I is the best' and I understand that. But as far as Division II's they're the best school in Florida."
Albury, a 5-foot-11 hitter, was recruited after coaches saw her play at UT's volleyball camp last summer.
UT assistant coach Jeff Lamm attended Seven Rivers' region quarterfinal game Nov.5 and later that month Albury attended a Spartans match against Barry.
Albury went on her official visit Jan.28-29. At the end of her visit, Albury was brought into coach Chris Catanach's office and offered a place on the team. After conferring with her mother, Nancy, and Seven Rivers coach Scott Lyons, Albury e-mailed the coaching staff her acceptance.
"I've got a lot of learning to do, which i understand and a lot that they're going to teach me to do differently," Albury said. "I'm not even sure what position, I think they might actually want to stay middle which is weird. Most hitters turn into left-side hitters when they go to college. But he really liked to use me hitting the slide."
Last fall, Albury was good for 458 kills, 350 assists, 161 blocks, 61 aces and 364 passes/digs. She was named the 2002 Class A Player of the Year by the Florida Dairy Farmers, and placed on the Class A All-State second team by the Florida Sports Writers Association. Albury earned Times Citrus/Hernando Player of the Year honors the past two seasons and was a 2002 All-Suncoast first-team selection.
With a 3.7 out of 4.0 GPA, Albury received a Dean's Scholarship from UT, a Florida Bright Futures scholarship, a FRAG (Florida Residence Access) scholarship and other financial assistance. Her athletic grant for volleyball will pay the rest of her tuition.