The University of Minnesota volleyball program has announced the addition of Turkish libero Zeynep Palabiyik. A top-ranked libero in Europe for the class of 2023, Palabiyik will have four years of eligibility remaining, beginning this fall.

“We’re thrilled to announce Zeynep as the final member of the 2023 Gopher volleyball team,” said head coach Keegan Cook. “It’s been a journey to get to this point, and I appreciate the work behind the scenes to get us to this moment.”

She currently plays for the U21 Turkish national team, who is competing to play in the European championship. She played for Besiktas Ceylan (Istanbul, Turkey) for the 2022-23 season, helping the team to a 1 League title. In 2021-22, Palapiyik competed for Eczacibasi Dynavit, leading the team to a Cev Cup championship. The club also finished in third place in the Sultans League, the highest professional volleyball league in Turkey.

“The reason why I chose the University of Minnesota is because it is a high level, both academically and athletically,” said Palabiyik. “The winning culture and passion of the team and fans matches my ambitious personality. I also felt very comfortable and safe when I met the staff. I can’t wait to live in a place that is different from where I’m from, but still feels like family.”

From 2020-23, she played for the Eczacibasi Sports Club Juniors Team. During her second season there, the team finished second in the U20 Turkish Championship before winning the title during the 2022-23 season.
Her favorite volleyball memories include getting called up to the seniors team of Eczacibasi Dynavit this season and getting the chance to play with some of the best players in the world. Palabiyik also lists helping Besiktas Ceylan to a 1 League championship as a top accomplishment.

“With Zeynep we are getting a passionate teammate, an experienced competitor and a highly skilled athlete whose best years are ahead,” said Cook.
The Gophers are thrilled to welcome Zeynep, her mother Figen, father Murat and sister Defne to the Minnesota volleyball family. She is expected to arrive on campus at Minnesota in August.

(info courtesy of Gopher Sports)

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