The winner plays the winner of Friday’s Washington-Penn State matchup on Saturday.

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For the first time since 2002, the Washington State volleyball team has reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament, and for the Cougars to advance further, they will have to upend Stanford (30-1, 20-0 Pac-12), the No. 1 seed, on its home court.

It no doubt is a tough hurdle, but the No. 16 Cougars (23-9, 12-8) are an experienced team with six seniors, and they have defeated nine teams that were ranked in the top 25. The match starts at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Maples Pavilion and airs on ESPN3.

The winner plays the winner of Friday’s Washington-Penn State matchup on Saturday.

“It’s a really special group of seniors,” said WSU coach Jen Greeny. “They’ve been just getting better every year and I am so happy we advanced past the second round, and we are hoping to do some more damage.”

WSU has lost twice to Stanford, winning one of seven games, but don’t expect the Cougars to be intimidated.

“They are the No. 1 seed for a reason, and as we all know, undefeated in the Pac-12,” Greeny said. “So we will have to play well. Our offense will have to be clicking, and we’ll have to pass well. We’ll also need to serve well on our side and make them predictable.

“I think it helps that we’re familiar with them, and we’re also familiar with Maples Pavilion, so it’s not a place we’ve never gone.”