The weather outside might be frightful - and, let's face it, will probably keep you (wisely) indoors - but if you're anywhere near the U of M campus, you have a golden opportunity to see some familiar prep sports faces compete on a national level.

The Gophers are hosting the first round of the NCAA volleyball tournament tonight and tomorrow at the Sports Pavilion. Coach Mike Hebert has done an excellent job keeping the state's best talent close to home, evidenced by nine players on Minnesota's roster with Minnesota high school ties.

There isn't room for everybody, of course, which means each season a crop of players gets away to other Division I schools.

In the two matches tonight (Creighton is up 1-0 over Iowa State as this is typed; Minnesota and North Dakota State follow around 7 p.m.) 15 players hail from Minnesota high schools. They Are:

Laurel Sanford, Eagan
Allie Oelke, Chaska

Jennifer Lopez, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton
Danielle Dombeck, Farmington
Chrissy Knuth, Champlin Park
Megan Lambertson, Litchfield

Jess Menden, Shakopee
Jessica Granquist, Blaine
Hailey Cowles, Eden Prairie*
Brianna Haugen, Minneapolis Southwest
Lauren Gibbemeyer, Cretin-Derham Hall
Tori Dixon, Burnsville
Katherine Harms, St. Michael-Albertville
Jasmine Dittrich, Rochester Marshall
Ashley Wittman, Shakopee

Talk about talent. It should be a fun night. By the way, here is a photo of Oelke (she's the one in the center of the pic)