Top-scoring Peruvian star Angela Leyva at reception duty last May in Tokyo.
Lausanne, Switzerland, September 26, 2016 - Peru failed to take advantage of playing at home and finished just fourth at the Women's Under-23 Pan American Cup
last week in San Vicente de Canete and missed out on a ticket to the 2017 FIVB Women's U23 World Championship - but despite the heartbreak they can find consolation in their top star's continuing rising orbit.
Despite having defeated both in pool play, Peru lost firstly in the semifinals to Argentina 3-1 (26-28, 25-21, 25-20, 25-20) and then in the bronze medal match to Cuba 3-2 (25-14, 25-19, 16-25, 12-25, 15-8), but 19-year-old Angela Leyva consistently top-scored in the competition to keep the country hopeful ahead of the 2017 FIVB World Grand Prix
.Angela Leyva suspended in the air for a serve during the World Olympic Qualification Tournament last May in Japan.
"Every time I'm suspended in the air, flexing my hand to overcome the opponent's block, trying to score the point for the national team, I feel the strength of the whole of Peru and the illusion that we will triumph," said the outside hitter who captained Peru at the Pan American Cup. "But always in the hands of God, He helps us get up when we are down."
Leyva, top scorer of last year's World Grand Prix Group 3 by a very wide margin, will lead Peru again this year in the competition - this time in Group 2, with pools at home (against Puerto Rico, the Czech Republic and Kenya), in Poland (against Korea, Argentina and Poland) and in Canada (against Germany, Kenya and Canada).