BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Games may get intense, but these girls are definitely having fun while playing in them.
"It is an easy game to fall in love with, and it's very fun to watch," said coach Morgan Rechtien. "It's an intense sport. And the girls, man, they pour their heart into this sport. You can see it."
This weekend, volleyball is on center court and the competition is fierce.
Hundreds of teams from throughout the southeastern United States are battling it out at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Open tournament at the Mississippi Coast Convention Center.
The Mississippi Gulf Coast Volleyball Club is the host for this regional tournament.
Rechtien is one of the organizers.
In just its second year, it has become one of the biggest tournaments in the region.
This year, 170 teams are competing in two age groups, 12 to 18 and 10 and under.
"Last year, we had about half the convention center. This year we have the whole thing," he said. "So, it exploded. And people love it. ... They love the location. They love the convention center."
The Club has 13 competitive teams from throughout South Mississippi that travel throughout the country to play.
"What it does for them is it gets them really good exposure," Rechtien said. "Because there are a lot of college coaches that come recruit and watch at these tournaments."
Isabella Thoennes is one of many high school players on the Coast putting in the extra time.
"I joined so I can get better, like advance my skills so I can play better in high school," she said. "And it's definitely helping."
The Hancock High School star plays the middle position, and she wants to continue playing in college.
"I like volleyball so much," she said. "Like, I have so much fun with it all the time. And, no matter what, I'm always, like, so grateful for volleyball."
The tournament lasted two days, Saturday and Sunday.