June 20, 2019
  • 9:21 pm The Bulletin’s Public Records Request Offers Springboard to Launch Gender Equity Discussion at CSUDH
  • 4:27 pm Black is the New Black: Raising the Capital on the “B” Word
  • 10:53 am Guns Up for Arrest: Student advocacy group pushes for CSU No Gun Zones–Including the Police
  • 4:09 pm Staff Editorial: Words on the First
  • 8:42 pm Carson Mayor Blasts Media, Landmark Libel Case in Keynote Address
  • 9:27 am Free Speech Week Calendar of Events Update
  • 6:02 am Food for Thought: 40% of Students are Food Insecure
  • 3:12 pm Academic Senate Rejects CSU GE Task Force & Report
  • 3:06 pm Work To Be Done
  • 5:56 pm ASI Elections: What You Need to Know
  • 8:02 pm CSUDH President Parham Announces Cancer Diagnosis
  • 9:47 am CSUDH Art Professor’s 20-Year Journey Results in First Local Showing of Film
  • 9:13 pm Free Speech or Free Hate area?
  • 9:08 pm CSUDH’s Best & Brightest Shine at Student Research Day
  • 9:05 pm Academic Senate Approves Gender Equity Task Force
  • 12:37 pm When Dr. Davis speaks, Toros Pay Close Attention
  • 3:38 pm Investing in the Future: Dr. Thomas A. Parham Reflects on the Past Eight Months and Contemplates​ the University’s Future
  • 3:24 pm Green Olive to Open By End of Feb; Starbucks Not Until Fall
  • 3:20 pm Gov. Newsom’s Proposed Budget Hailed for Extensive Funding Increases
  • 3:08 pm Out of the Classroom: Labor and Community Organizing Course Aims to Teach Students How to Organize for Social Justice
  • 2:54 pm The Other Route in Professional Sports
  • 9:02 am Hail to the New Chief, CSUDH President Thomas Parham
  • 3:36 pm Career Center Holds Major/Minor Fair
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  • 8:37 am University Police Investigating Possible Hate Symbol Found on Campus
  • 12:31 pm FOR JAMI
  • 12:30 pm Tenure on Track?
  • 12:27 pm MBA In Limbo

By Antonio Flowers
Staff Writer

CSUDH women’s volleyball player Esther Duru is a pivotal member of a squad that finished above .500 last season (and if it wins its last four games can do so again this season), only the third time since the team’s inaugural season of 1976 that the Toros could boast of a winning season.

But it’s not like Duru’s career as a Toro was pre-destined.

The Lynwood High School graduate, who made all-conference as a senior, wanted to attend CSUDH, but she said she never received a response from head coach Jennifer Adeva.

“It’s funny because I don’t remember her reaching out to me,” said Adeva, with a smile. “When she mentioned it, I asked her if she was the same player back then [and] she said no. So that’s probably why I didn’t get back to her back then.”

So, Duru had to consider other options to continue playing volleyball and keep her dream of representing CSUDH alive.

She started her freshman year of college at Providence Christian College, a small liberal arts college in Pasadena.

“My freshmen year I ended up at a school where my heart wasn’t at,” Duru said. “I didn’t like the environment, I didn’t like the student body and I didn’t like the small school.”

Her sophomore year, Duru transferred to East Los Angeles College. In her two years at ELAC, she ranked number one in the state for solo blocks.

She finally got her chance to wear the burgundy and gold in 2017. As a junior middle blocker, Duru started in 11 of her 23 matches, and ranked fourth on the team in blocks, with 62. She’s more than surpassed that as a senior, her 169 kills (including a career-high 20 against Sonoma State last weekend) trailing only Tati Yandel’s 246 and Rylee Brown’s 145.

“The timing wasn’t right then and now it is,” said Duru. “…So I guess it’s meant for me to be at Dominguez Hills.   Now I can do the things I wanted to do from the beginning. So, I’m just happy to be in this position.”

Like all student-athletes, Duru must juggle coursework, studying, tests, games, and practice, and all the stress that accumulates with so many responsibilities.

“This is basically our job,” Duru said. “We spend hours every day of the week putting in work.”

Duru said that as an athlete, she must deal with being tired and nagging injuries, and then switch modes to complete homework, and attend mandatory study halls. Like all CSUDH student-athletes, she must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA to be eligible to play.

“It’s definitely not easy, it takes a toll on you physically and mentally,” Duru said.

She said that while it’s stressful being a student-athlete, the example her parents set for her helps keep her going. Both her parents are Nigerian immigrants and, Duru said, their sacrifices for her education are constant inspirations.

“My parents sacrificed a lot and they really did [stress] the idea that education is really important,” Duru said. “And how you need to do what you need to do to open up doors for yourself. They always taught me how important it is to get an education and to understand that I have it a lot easier than what they’ve went through and they did this all for me.”

Duru also credits her parents for her selfless attitude and being a team player.

“My parents just taught me to be humble and be nice to others,” Duru said. “They tell me to always support others, always give off good energy to others, be positive, and always be that person that somebody can look up to if they’re having any problems.”

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