GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids Rise roster is starting to take shape.

The new pro volleyball team coming to West Michigan has signed several elite players, including middle blocker Kayla Caffey.

She is coming off her rookie season playing professionally in Puerto Rico, but the Chicago native is looking forward to coming home to the Midwest. She has bounced around the map for most of her college career, starting at Missouri, then to Nebraska before ending her career with a national championship with the Texas Longhorns.

The All-American also played for the same high school program as Rise head coach Cathy George, so Caffey says she already feels at home.

“I’m literally beyond excited,” Caffey said. “The fact that Cathy (George) is the head coach, too, makes it even more special for me, and I just felt an instant draw to her. It’s just so exciting that pro volleyball will be played in the United States. I love volleyball and I’ve been playing since I was 12, but a huge deterrent for me was that you have to go so far and leave behind so much of your life, so I’m so excited to have (volleyball) at home.”

Caffey is the fourth player to sign with the Rise, with 12 more expected to do so ahead of the inaugural season.

The Grand Rapids Rise was founded in December 2022 as the first Pro Volleyball Federation franchise and Grand Rapids’ first major-league women’s sports team. The Rise will make their debut at Van Andel Arena in January 2024.