The Peruvian women’s volleyball team was eliminated from the 2013 FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship after losing to Japan in the Czech Republic. The Matadorcitas fought hard but were unable to win a single set against the team from Japan.
The team´s coach, Natalia Malaga, was disappointed with the result, however, the girls will continue to play and can still hope to earn a ninth place finish.
After today’s match, the team left spectators with a feeling that they could have accomplished more. At one point in the second set the Matadorcitas had a nine point lead, but failed to capitalize after a Japanese rally.
Across social media, the young team was criticized about a lack of focus.
Cecilia Tait, who won a Silver medal with the team in 1988 and is currently a congresswoman, said the team lacked technical preparation.
“It wasn’t a question of attitude or motivation,” she said. “The problem has been a lack of quality practice matches. When I was on the team and we didn´t prepare correctly, we lost. Playing against Bolivia and Chile isn´t enough.”
Peru’s next challenge will come in the U17 Youth World Cup in Thailand. Some of the girls from the U20 team will play in that tournament as well. Key among them is 17-year old Angela Leyva.
The hope for a world championship now rests on their shoulders.
U20 team falls to Japan in round of 16