It All Went Right For The Aztecs On Senior Night

San Diego State women’s basketball team honored Taylor Kalmer, Zayn Dornstauder, Monique Terry and Baylee Vanderdoes before Thursday’s game, as it was their final time playing in Viejas arena.

“Baylee [Vanderdoes] and Monique [Terry] have been with me all four years and I’m amazed with their growth on and off the court. Both of their roles transitioned into starters. I’m proud of the effort they put in.” Head coach Stacie Terry-Hutson said. “Zayn [Dornstauder] has been here two years and I don’t know that we’ve had a dominant post player since I’ve been here and she’s been able to really work on the offensive end. She’s so skilled so she’ll be missed. TK [Taylor Kalmer] is so competitive and has such a good work ethic. These four seniors have all helped changed our culture.”

The Aztecs won their home finale and final regular season game 81-68 against Nevada. Hot shooting throughout the entire game left little in doubt as the Aztecs closed out their season. 

SDSU made 49% of their shots, which included shooting 50% from downtown. The team also had four players who scored in double-digits and two players who scored eight points.

 “We need a third scorer.” Terry-Hutson said. “Sophia [Ramos] and TK [Kalmer] take up so much of the offensive load it’s nice to see Zayn [Dornstauder] and Tea [Adams] takeover some nights.”

Their offense wasn’t the only part of their game that clicked. After getting on track, the Aztecs defense played with grit and held the Wolfpack to 34.9% shooting.

“It’s senior night so give everything you have so I think that’s the mentality too,” Vanderdoes said. “I always give it my all, but it was just different tonight.”

The Aztecs started the game down 12-4, but after a few adjustments they took a 42-28 halftime lead.  Kalmer ended the first half with 15 points and made her first eight shots.

Jokingly, Kalmer said she couldn’t recall making eight shots in a row. “I don’t know, maybe in H-O-R-S-E or something.” She finished with 20 points and extended her streak of scoring at least 10 points per game to 24.

As a team, the Aztecs shot 55% from the field and 83% from three in the first two quarters. A 15-0 run out of halftime gave them a 24 point lead with less than two minutes remaining in the third.

“We were able to build a lead and give ourself a cushion and we see once we do that we have a great shot at beating some good teams.” Kalmer said.

SDSU earned their ninth win in conference play and it’s the most they’ve had since the 2014-15 season. The Aztecs also finished 9-8 at Viejas this season, but it still hasn’t sunk in that it was their final home game, especially for the seniors.

“It hasn’t sunk in.” Vanderdoes said. “I feel like I’m just gonna put my shoes back on and practice here tomorrow.” 

It was a close knit group who cared for each other tremendously this season. The over 1,000 fans in attendance could see how locked in the Aztecs were tonight, on both sides of the ball. as

The team wanted to send their four seniors out with cheerful memories of Viejas arena.

“My made of honor will probably be Monique [Terry]. Vanderdoes said. “Zayn [Dornstauder] and I got really close and TK [Kalmer] makes be better. She demands that of everyone on the team and we all meshed really well together and we all love each other.” 

SDSU will be the No. 6 seed and face No. 11 Utah State in the first round of the Mountain West Tournament, which starts March 1 in Las Vegas.

“In February I think we won six out of the last nine and two of those losses were in the single digits.” Terry-Hutson said. “I think we’re playing good basketball right now so I’m excited to see what we travel with to Vegas.”

Navigating Through Hardships

Have you ever slipped into a week of sadness? You feel like everything is annoying and nothing is going right? If no, I am happy for you and I encourage you to continue reading. If yes, let’s work through these hardships.

Recently I fell into one of those moods. Where you wake up, and go about your day not really feeling anything or being present. Part of me just wanted to wallow. But luckily, one morning I woke up and thought, girl you need to grow the hell up and figure this out!

First, I tried to figure out who or what was putting me in a bad mood. Honestly, I could not pinpoint exactly who or what it was I just knew I was unhappy. I attributed my “off mood” to being overwhelmed with plans after graduation, my current living situation, and relationships. Okay great! Now I know what is putting me off, that should be good right? Now I can figure out how to “fix” it. Wrong, by doing this it did help, but now I have this information and I do not know what to actually do.

I decided to focus on what I can change… and after thinking I could only really control  my performance in school. Side note – I learned you cannot control relationships. I have never tried, but that just doesn’t sound right. So, I decided to make a schedule for my classes, for reading, studying, and tried to schedule time in my work schedule. It helped but only if you actually commit to it (just like anything that requires learning).

Second, I needed to be proactive about my two other hardships. I turned to a podcast that I heard in the past entitled, The Science of HappinessI listened to the first episode called, 3 Good Things. Essentially, you take about 10 – 15 minutes to reflect on your day, and while doing that think about 3 good things that happened. Sounds easy, but it is somewhat difficult to do if you if you do not have a reminder. 

If you would like to try this, actually write down the 3 things so you can see it. By writing it down, you can read it later and when I write stuff down I tend to remember it more. From experience, I was not consistent after my mood was improved. That is okay! Because if you are happier that is the point. However, this could be a good practice to do whether you are feeling glum or having a wonderful day.

The main takeaway I realized was the importance of reflecting on the day. Sadly, it is so easy to get caught up in what is happening in the world. We forget to just breathe and take a few moments to recall what happened in our day.

Hopefully, this helps kickstart your journey to appreciation and happiness! Let’s work through these hardships. I am proud of you and I am rooting for you!

Taken from Pinterest
Written by: Jasmine Alexander

Sunflower Seeds: A European Escape

As a senior graduating in May, I decided to take advantage of my last winter break ever. One of my good friends was studying abroad for the Fall 2019 semester in England. Our winter breaks lined up, so I decided I would give myself an early graduation gift and escape to Europe! 

I was in a class when I bought my plane ticket for the trip. I would briefly talk to her from time to time to figure out the logistics of it. It turned out that we would be doing a European tour with a group of 6 other girls she knew from study abroad.


I arrived in London on December 30 to meet up with my friend. I was there just in time for New Years! We went to almost every touristy spot that you could imagine possible. I was most in awe that they drive on the opposite side of the road there since I thought it was a bit similar to America. We spent New Year’s at a club in the city and then we were off to Spain.


The start of our travels was off to a rocky start. We missed our flight to Madrid that was at 7am, and we couldn’t take another flight until 4pm. Needless to say, we wasted our first day in an airport. When we arrived, I was in awe since Madrid is absolutely beautiful. It was colorful, the food was incredible, and the sangria was very cheap there! After the two nights in Madrid, we headed to another city in Spain.

We ventured off to Valencia. Valencia was even more beautiful than Madrid in my opinion. Valencia was very warm and full of life. The food there was just as good as Madrid’s. We fueled ourselves up with paella, empanadas, and Valencia Water (Gin, Champagne, Vodka, & OJ). As you could image, we had a great time in Spain.


Our next stop was Paris, France. As a little girl I had always dreamed of going to Paris, so I was beyond excited to be heading there. When we arrived it felt just as cold as Chicago. We were all bundled up but determined to see the city since we only had two nights there. We spent a majority of our time wandering the city. Paris was so beautiful and romantic. The architecture and sounds of the city made you feel like you were the main character in a romance movie. My favorite part was seeing the Eiffel Tower. I will never forget that feeling of excitement that came over me when I saw it. Paris is a place everyone should visit.


Our last country for the trip was Italy. I couldn’t wait to see my roots since I’m 75% Italian. The first city we went to was Rome. Rome was exciting because we saw the Colosseum and Trevi Fountain. The best food I have ever had in my life was here. I ordered a pasta dish called Cacio e Pepe. It consists of cheese and pepper, but it was delicious. After our day in Rome we headed to Florence.

Florence was magnificent. The city was colorful and energetic. A few of us went to the top of the Duomo and the views were breathtaking because you could see the entire city from there. Florence felt a bit touristy since a majority of the people we met were form America. We went to a bar and all of the shots were named after university’s in America. I was able to get a “San Diego State Shot” which consisted of tequila, ginger, and lime. Florence was fun, but it was time to head to our last destination, Venice.

Venice was so peaceful. The water was clean, and the city moved slow. People lived to relax and that was just what we were doing. We took a gondola ride and ate a ton of gelato. Venice was the most relaxing city, and it was a great way to end our trip. 

Our trip consisted of laughs, lots of wine, and incredible food. I had a blast wandering around Europe with the six other girls. It was a trip I will never forget, and I hope you can experience that too. 


Written by: Nina Capuani

Mac Miller’s Circles Album Review

Not what I expected but exactly what I needed is the best way I could explain Mac Miller’s posthumous album titled Circles, which was released in January.

Though a posthumous album feels eerie it is definitely the closure I, millions of other fans, his family and loved ones, and Malcolm himself needed. Following his death in 2018, I wasn’t sure how to live with the fact I would never see him perform live and would never get to see his career continue to bloom. One of my favorite artists of all time, his music spoke to my soul in ways most other artists haven’t. Miller’s oftentimes heavy yet heartfelt lyrics accompanied by his versatile sounds are some of the reasons I find his music so distinguished. His albums tell a story from beginning to end, something not entirely unique to him but is so well done by him.

His last album released before his death, Swimming, has become one of my all-time favorites and left me wanting more. I wanted to see him come to the resolutions and clarity he was pondering in this album. Circles does the tricky job of tying it all together. Miller was working on Circles with composer-producer Jon Brion at the time of his passing. It is not known how far into this project he got but Miller’s family put their full trust and support into Brion to make the album he would’ve been proud to share with the world.

Surely this task was not easy, therefore Brion should be immensely proud of himself for not only giving us a great album but making one he knew Miller would be proud of. Filled with questions about life, “Does it always gotta, does it always gotta. Gotta be so complicated?”, viewpoints on humanity, “Everybody’s gotta live. And everybody’s gonna die. Everybody just wanna have a good, good time. I think you know the reason why,” and personal notes to self, “No, they don’t like it when I’m down” this album explores the depths of self-discovery, healing, and the shared human experience.

If you haven’t had the chance to give this or his entire discography a listen, I highly recommend you do. Rest in Paradise Malcolm James McCormick. Your impact will live on forever.

Written by: Ceceli Riffo-Drecksel