'The sport that we all love': Volleyball players glad to play in Wisconsin Center tournament

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee is welcoming potentially thousands of people this weekend for a pair of volleyball tournaments at the Wisconsin Center.

The Wisconsin Juniors Volleyball Club held two tournaments March 6 and 7. It's the first of four weekends of youth volleyball at the convention center. The four weekends are estimated to pump more than $6 million into the local economy.

Freshman Siobhan Whalen left Illinois early Saturday morning and headed to the Wisconsin Center.

"It's been really fun honestly because it's been so long that we've been out, so it's just nice to see everybody's face again and get back into the sport that we all love," Whalen said.

She said she's had tournaments at the Wisconsin Center before, but this time things look a bit different.

"It's really weird. Everything is a lot more safety precautioned," Whalen said.

The players said one of the biggest changes from previous years is playing with a mask on.

"It gets tiring sometimes for sure. During practices, it gets hot, but ... it's definitely worth it," said Kenna Kinsch, who also traveled from Illinois for the tournament.

After their tournament, Whalen and Kinsch headed out to eat, which is something local businesses are happy to hear.

"Just to have something going on over there (at the Wisconsin Center) is great. And the volleyball, which happens every year, they they know us and they come over and spend their money," said Marty Petricca, manager of Major Goolsby's.

Petricca said between the Bucks allowing fans back in to Fiserv Forum and the Wisconsin Center booking events again, it's a start for businesses in the area.

"Certainly anyone that has closed can start thinking about getting back open if they can," Petricca said.

Players can back to playing the game they love.

"We won one of them and lost the other two (games), but it was really close," Whalen said.

Badger Region Volleyball will host a three-week tournament starting next weekend.

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