U.S. National Team member and former college star Inky Ajanaku is changing her professional club and will be a part of Galatasaray in the Turkish League for the upcoming season. Ajanaku was previously with Volero Zurich.
Ajanaku is not currently on the U.S. Women’s National Team roster for the ongoing Volleyball Nations League, but she is a part of the program and is coming off of injury. As part of the team, she won a gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Cup – although was injured during that event as well.
The latest injury though occurred last season after Ajanaku signed her first pro contract with Volero Zurich, where she missed the entire year for the Swiss champions. Now she will move on to the second club of her career at the age of 23.
A 6’3″ native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Ajanaku spent a five-year college career at Stanford, where she hit .413 during her time and was an AVCA First-Team All-American three times. She also led the Cardinal to a National Championship in her final season in 2016 when she notched 3.74 points per set with her best blocking numbers of 1.54 blocks per set.
Her most points in a season actually came in 2014 though, when she recorded 4.13 points per set behind 3.48 kills per set – although it was her lowest blocks per set total of her career. However, as previously mentioned, she was then injured in the offseason of 2015 playing in the Pan American Cup and missed the college year prior to another All-American campaign in 2016.
Ajanaku will now be looking for that same turnaround from injury she saw from 2015 to 2016 this year with Galatasaray after missing 2017.
Galatasaray S.K. finished the 2017-2018 season with a 16-6 record (46 points) in the Turkish top division, earning a third place regular season ranking and fourth in the postseason. They’ll hope having Ajanaku, who has been a part of championships – albeit once injured – in her last two stops, will take them over the top where they’ve last won a championship in the 1977-1978 Istanbul Women’s Volleyball League.