Peruvian Junior Volleyball Team Wins South American Cup

On Monday November 26, 2012, the Peruvian junior volleyball team, known as the ‘matadorcitas’, won the South American Female Volleyball Championship after a victory over Brazil. This is a historic result, after 32 years without getting any titles in that sports category. The name matadorcitas comes from the pet form of matadoras (attackers), as the national team has been widely known for years.

Peru won the first set with a score of 25-18. Brazil won the second with the same score, 25-18. The third set was the most hard-fought, almost point by point, with another partial victory for the Peruvian team by 25-20. Then, Brazil won the fourth set with 25-23 as a result.

Peru won the last and final set, with a partial result of 15-10. The match was won with a 3-2 score.

The day before, the Peruvian team had classified for the 2013 World Cup, which will be hosted by Thailand, after defeating Argentina, also by a final score of 3-2.

In a country where football seems to be the only existing sport, this victory was welcomed, the players were acclaimed and their coach, Ms. Natalia Málaga, was fully recognized everywhere. Málaga had been widely criticized for her style, considered too rude. Some journalists even started calling her Natalia Mala Mala (Natalia Mean Mean).

But now the country is celebrating, and the blogosphere has joined the celebrations.

The blog Chiclín por siempre republishes [es] an article that says that Ms. Málaga is not the only ‘Mean Mean':

Si bien las carajeadas de Natalia Málaga se ven en televisión, las chicas del combinado nacional afirman que no es la única. Hilary Palma, apodada la ‘Mini Mala Mala’, también es conocida por ser la que más “putea” en la cancha.

Por su parte, Rosa Valiente confesó que en el tercer set ante Brasil estuvo llorando y Natalia Málaga la mandó al banco. “No fue por ningún grito de Natalia. Lo que sucedió es que me daba rabia que ningún saque me salía bien. Pero mis compañeras y hasta la misma Natalia me hablaron fuerte y volví al partido”, comentó la ‘Mejor Bloqueadora’ del último Sudamericano.

Although Natalia Málaga's yells are seen on television, the girls from the national team say she is not the only one. Hilary Palma, known as ‘Mini Mala Mala’, is also known for being the one that “swears” the most on the court.


Meanwhile, Rosa Valiente confessed that on the third set with Brazil she was crying and Natalia Málaga sent her back to the substitute bench. “It wasn't because of any shout from Natalia. I was enraged, not one of my serves were good. But my teammates and Natalia herself talked to me and I got back into the game”, commented the latest South American championship's ‘Best Block Player’.

The blog Enlace Nacional tells us about the tribute the players received [es] in Juliaca:

En Juliaca, nuestras “matadorcitas” flamantes campeonas sudamericanas de vóley categoría menores reciben homenaje de alcalde y población de la ciudad de los vientos.

In Juliaca, our “matadorcitas”, brand new South American junior volleyball champions, receive tributes by the city mayor and the population of the city of the winds.

The post also includes a video [es]:

Natalia Málaga has enjoyed her own share of recognition after this important victory. The blogger from Nuestra Gente Digital tells us [es] about her personal struggle:

Una historia digna de resaltar. Natalia Málaga, entrenadora de la selección femenina de menores que recientemente se acaba de coronar campeona sudamericana, entró en el libro de oro del voleibol peruano al conquistar este galardón como jugadora y entrenadora.

En 1980, en el Sudamericano de la categoría disputado en Brasil, la hoy timonel del cuadro bicolor formó parte de aquel equipo que se coronó campeón venciendo justamente al elenco anfitrión.

A story worth to be mentioned. Natalia Málaga, coach of the national junior volleyball team that recently became South American champions, entered Peruvian Volleyball Hall of Fame as she conquered this title as a player and as a coach.

In 1980, in the South American tournament in Brazil, today's helmswoman of the two-color team was part of the team that became champions by beating precisely the host team.

Twitter is buzzing with comments and tweets about the championship with the hashtag #matadorcitas [es].

For instance, Sheila Vargas (@SheiRory) [es] says full of pride:

@SheiRory: El PERU nos hace sentirnos orgullosos. Amo mi tierra: gracias #Matadorcitas por devolver la ilusión.

@SheiRory: PERU makes us proud. I love my country: thanks #Matadorcitas for bringing us hope back.

Gloria Dioses (@gloriadioses) [es] makes some indirect comparisons with the football national team, notorious for their indiscipline:

@gloriadioses: Sin celulares, fb ni enamoraditos… mentalizadas en lo que querían lograr, las #matadorcitas clasificaron al mundial y derrotaron a Brasil

@gloriadioses: Without cell phones, Facebook nor boyfriends… focused on what they wanted to achieve, the #matadorcitas qualified to the World Cup and defeated Brazil.

Peruvian newspapers react to volleyball team's victory

Peruvian newspapers react to junior volleyball team's victory, image shared via Twitpic by Walter Melendez (@amigoperu76)

Making fun of some tremors felt in Lima recently, user @MikeReategui [es] said:

@MikeReategui: Temblor en Lima de 3,9 Parece que la Pachamama también celebra el triunfo de las #Matadorcitas#VoleyPeruano#Perú#Campeón#Sudamericano

@MikeReategui: A 3.9 tremor in Lima, it look like the Pachamama is also celebrating the triumph of #Matadorcitas #VoleyPeruano [Peruvian volleyball] #Perú #Campeón [champion] #Sudamericano [South American].

Pachamama is the Quechua word for land and, by extension, for Motherland.

According to Luis Alberto Wu (@LuisAlbertoWu) [es], the country needed some encouragement:

@LuisAlbertoWu: Perú NECESITABA esa victoria, gracias por devolvernos el ánimo a todos #Matadorcitas

@LuisAlbertoWu: Peru NEEDED that victory, thanks for getting us all back in a good mood. #Matadorcitas

Luis Francisco Vega (@Vegaluisfran) [es] is proud too:

@Vegaluisfran: Valen un Peru las #matadorcitas…Gracias por llevar una alegria mas al pais :)

@Vegaluisfran: The #matadorcitas are worth their weigh in gold… Thanks for bringing a new joy to the country :)

Finally, Lizajurel! (@Lizajurel) [es] sums it up very simply:

@Lizajurel: Son todo!!! #Matadorcitas

@Lizajurel: They are everything!!! #Matadorcitas

Global Voices contributor Juan Arellano [es] wrote a Storify post [es] about this historic victory.


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