Sunnyvale celebrates qualifying for the Class 4A Region II tournament for the first time in program history after a four-set win over Bullard on Tuesday at Athens High School.

Sunnyvale did not enter the volleyball playoffs as a team to watch.

The Raiders posted a 17-10 overall record and its 8-4 mark in 13-4A landed them in third place behind Farmersville and Caddo Mills.

Some might have thought Sunnyvale would be happy with the fact it returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2018.

The Raiders had different ideas.

When the dust settled on Tuesday after the third round of playoff games, 13-4A will be represented at the regional tournament.

But it will not be by district champion Farmersville (40-3), the No. 7 team in the Texas Girls Coaches Association Class 4A state poll, who was outlasted by Van in five sets, nor is it runner-up Caddo Mills, who fell to Bullard in the area round.

The 13-4A representative is Sunnyvale, who has saved their best volleyball for the right time, as it took on that same Bullard team and rallied for a 19-25, 26-24, 29-27, 25-20 victory in a Class 4A Region II quarterfinal match at Athens High School.

Sunnyvale improves to 20-10 and makes history as it qualifies for the regional tournament for the first time in program history.

The Raiders will take on Aubrey in the regional semifinals at 6 p.m. Friday at a site close to home at Horn High School.

The winner of that match will take on either No. 2 Celina or Van in the regional championship, which is slated for noon Saturday at Horn.

The regional quarterfinal match was actually the shortest of the playoffs thus far for Sunnyvale, who had to go five in each of the first two rounds.

The Raiders had opened with a 28-30, 25-22, 25-23, 17-25, 15-12 win over Brownsboro in the bi-district round and followed that up with a 25-12, 25-19, 17-25, 21-25, 15-7 victory against Lindale in the area finals.

Horn (21-15) had advanced to the area round for the first time since 2015, but that is where the road came to an end, as the Jaguars fell to DeSoto on Friday in a 25-14, 25-17, 25-23 setback.

Horn had opened the playoffs last Tuesday with a 25-20, 25-21, 25-20 sweep of Wylie.

For continued coverage on the local sports scene, follow Devin Hasson on Twitter: @DevinHasson

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