Aug. 20, 2009
Former Lady Volunteer volleyball player Dianne Shoemaker DeNechochea made history earlier this month, becoming part of the oldest team, men or women, to claim a title on the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) Crocs Tour when she joined forces with Carrie Dodd to win the Lumber Liquidators AVP Crocs Slam Coney Island Open Presented by Kentucky Grilled Chicken.
The duo, seeded second in the competition, picked up its first title of the season by defeating the seventh-seeded combo of Jennifer Fopma and Brittany Hochevar, 21-19, 17-21, 15-12. To advance to the final, DeNechochea and Dodd defeated fourth-seeded Priscilla Lima and Tatiana Minello 17-21, 21-17, 15-12.
They are a combined 76 years, nine months and three days old. DeNecochea is 41 years, seven months and 18 days, while Dodd is 35 years, one month and 15 days old. The previous oldest team was Brent Doble and Karch Kiraly, who won in Huntington Beach, Calif. in 2003 at a combined age of 76 years, six months and 27 days.
"Brittany and Jen are playing so well that we had to make it happen ourselves instead of waiting for them to screw up," DeNecochea said. "They really put the pressure on."
"I think it's cool," Dodd said of their new record. "Di's a stud, she has two kids and does the whole Mom thing, and I'm 35 and no spring chicken either, and I'm extremely proud of our team."
DeNechochea, formerly Shoemaker, played for Tennessee from 1985-88, garnering All-SEC and All-East Central Region honors in her junior and senior seasons. She still maintains a strong presence in the Lady Vol record book as she ranks among the top-10 in seven career record lists, including fourth in total kills (1,544). She is also found on the single-season charts a total of seven times, including the top spot for kills per game with an average of 5.69 in 1988.