CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois volleyball returns to the court this weekend, playing three matches in two days, at the Panther Invite in Milwaukee. The Illini are coming off a shortened 7-11 spring season where no fans were allowed in the arenas, per a Big Ten policy. Excitement is always high this time of year, with the anticipation building for game day but the chance to suit up again in front of a crowd has the Illini pumped up to take the court.

“It’s not the same without fans,” Illinois defensive specialist Taylor Kuper said. “Huff Hall is rockin’ in the fall and we are so excited to have everyone back.”

“I came to a lot of games when I was a recruit, so I know what its like, what the atmosphere is like and its electric,” Illinois sophomore outside hitter Raina Terry said. “So I’m really excited to experience the electricity on the court this time.”

Illinois opens head coach Chris Tamas’ fifth season with the program Friday at 12 p.m. against UC Santa Barbara at 12 p.m. Tournament host Milwaukee follows it up at 7 p.m. on Friday, before the Illini taking on Valparaiso on Saturday at 5 p.m.