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Dianne DeNecochea, 45, has tips for Kerri Walsh Jennings

Dianne DeNecochea, a 45-year-old professional beach volleyball player, said Saturday at the AVP Championships in Huntington Beach that she believes three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings will be sending a positive message for female athletes if the mother of three attempts to win more gold at the 2016 Summer Games.

"It gives a message to women that they can be pro athletes and have families and be successful at both. We can do it," said DeNecochea, who lost along with partner Raquel Ferreira in a winner's bracket match Saturday morning to the top-seeded team of April Ross and Walsh Jennings, 21-16, 21-15, in 42 minutes. "Women can be top-notch athletes and still have a family."

DeNecochea, a mother of two, said the key is balance.

"In your training, in your play, with your family, you have to be in the present," she said.

Walsh Jennings has every intention of playing in a fourth Olympics, this time with Ross after winning three gold medals with now-retired Misty May-Treanor.

DeNecochea said her children were at volleyball tryout camps this weekend but her mind was totally on the Huntington Beach tournament and playing her game. "It has to be," she said.

She added that there were advantages to being more seasoned.

"You don't get rattled," DeNecochea said. "You have to be self-active in recovery and by that I mean you just don't go lie down and have a massage. You do other workouts and stretches and be very careful with your body. But really, for me, the most important thing is staying in the present."


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