Tokyo, Japan, May 21, 2016 - The Netherlands is off to its first Olympics in 20 years after beating Peru 3-0 (25-16, 25-14, 25-17), while at the same time ending the Rio hopes of the young South Americans.
The Dutch came into the tournament as one of the favourites, and despite occasional hiccups, showed they will be competitive in Brazil.
Even though Peru’s very survival depended on a win against The Netherlands, the opening minutes of the match were all one way traffic, the wrong way for the South Americans.
In the most one-sided opening to a match in the tournament so far, Peru found itself trailing 0-8 at the first time out, with prolific Dutch point scorer Lonneke Sloetjes running amok.
Also problematic for Peru was the lack of early return from its own star point scorer, Angela Leyva.
Whether it was nerves or bad luck, eventually Peru got itself back into the set, but very few teams climb back from 8-0 down. The final score was 25-16, with Sloetjes finishing the set with nine points and Leyva finding some form late to finish with five.
When the Dutch have played well this week that have been very good, and Peru was getting a tough volleyball lesson. Sloetjes (14 points) and Anne Buijs (11) were blowing the South Americans off the court, and Laura Dikema was continuing to impress with her setting and her serving (4).
Winning the second set 25-14 parcelled up their ticket to Rio, joining Korea as two of the four teams heading to the Olympics.
Leyva was trying hard for Peru with eight points, but with captain Mirtha Uribe haven’t a quiet match the South Americans were struggling to make an impact.
The match and Peru’s Olympic dream fizzled out in the third set, Netherlands coach Giovanni Guidetti taking the opportunity to give his full bench a run and resting star players Sloetjes, Buijs and Dijkema.
Peru will now focus on Tokyo in 2020. The positive news is that 11 of their squad who played in Japan this week will still be aged 30 or less in four years time, giving coach Mauro Marasciulo plenty to build on over the next four years.