There will be a new champion in Section 5A after Verndale defeated defending champ Browerville/Eagle Valley 3-1 Thursday in Pierz.
The win earned the Pirates the 5A/North title and a meeting with Nevis for the section championship and a trip to the state tournament.
Verndale won the first two sets by scores of 25-20 and 25-13 and looked poised for the sweep.
However, the Tigers stayed alive with a 25-21 win in set three.
But the Pirates would not be denied and closed out the match with a hard-fought 25-21 victory in the fourth and final set.
Jordyn Glenz led Verndale with 24 kills. Shania Glenz (22) wasn’t far behind and Morgan Glenz contributed seven. Sarah Moenkedick (3) and Allison Olsson (1) had the other kills for the Pirates.
Megan Dougherty had a team-high 19 digs. Alexys Steege, Jordyn Glenz and Morgan Glenz each had 17. Moenkedick (16) and Haley Stinar (10) also had double-digit digs.
Jordyn Glenz made 3.5 blocks, Shania Glenz had 2.5 and Morgan Glenz added two. Morgan Glenz also had both of the Pirates’ ace serves on the night and Stinar dished out 26 set assists, while Dougherty had 19.
The Section 5A championship against Nevis will be played at 7:00 p.m. Saturday in Pierz. The Tigers beat Braham 3-2 in the other semifinal match.