THE General Machinery Lautoka women's volleyball team has set the benchmark for West teams after creating history by becoming the first Lautoka team and the first from the West to win a major volleyball tournament in Suva.
The side defeated Suva Two and Suva One in the semi-final and final respectively of the Vanua Challenge at the National Gymnasium in Suva over the weekend.
The Sugar City girls, led by former national rep Teresia Lilidamu, combined well with the Delai sisters Claire and Ilisapeci to give Lautoka their first win on Suva soil.
Team coach Semi Qio said discipline was the key factor that contributed to the special win.
He commended the girls for their effort and teamwork throughout the competition.
"Our win is special because this is the first time any team from Lautoka or the West has ever won the tournament," said Qio.
"We have also proven that any West team can win on Suva soil provided they have the heart to conquer any obstacle that crosses their path.
"Discipline is the main reason for our win and I thank the girls for their grand effort."
Qio thanked his senior players — Lilidamu, the Claire sisters and former national rep Katarina Cakaunitabua — for guiding the younger ones to withstand the pressure from the Capital City girls.
He said the side had set its focus on repeating the feat at the upcoming Easter Games.
"The win has inspired the players to win the upcoming Easter Games.
"We need to lift the bar at training as all teams will be targeting us."
He said the side had many players capable of donning the national colours at the upcoming Mini Games.