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New Vanua champ

Emoni Narawa
Sunday, March 23, 2014

LAUTOKA One created history last night by becoming the first Western team to win the Vanua Challenge Volleyball women's title.

Led by former national women's volleyball rep Teresia Lilidamu, the westerners burned FBC TV Blues in an the final 3-1 at the FMF Gymnasium in Suva.

Despite some controversial decisions from the umpires, the two sides entertained the crowd in a breathtaking final.

Lautoka took its time to find its rhythm in the opening set, trailing the Blues 10-18 before finally making their presence felt to win the set.

Again Lilidamu combined well with the Delai sisters of Claire and Ilisapeci and national beach volleyball rep Bulou Alitiana to win the second set.

The defending champions bounced back to win the third set in a close tussle.

The fourth set was a mouth-watering affair with both teams firing on all cylinders.

The Blues kept Lautoka at bay on numerous occasions as both teams drew in the later stages.

However, Lautoka maintained their composure and continued to expose the weak link in the opposition.

Lautoka skipper, Lilidamu said it was a tireless effort from her teammates.

"This is history for us, it's a reward for our hard work and hats off to the girls for giving their all," she said.

"It was a tough game but we're thankful to finally come out victorious."

She said the presence of the Delai sisters was a morale booster for the side.

"Claire and Ilisapeci got the experience and they really boosted us. We came here with the expectation to win and we did it."

She acknowledged all the Lautoka supporters who were vocal during the final.

Lautoka edged FBC TV Black 2-1 in the semi-finals while FBC TV Blue beat Vatuwaqa.

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