Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Badger Fan Bus hopes to bring volleyball fans on the road


Andrea and Corey Singletary were thrilled to fly out to Seattle to watch their beloved Badgers participate in the National Championship Game last December. What they weren’t pleased with was the lack of Wisconsin red in the stands.

After planning a road trip to the NCAA Regional Tournament in Champaign, Illinois, the couple was disheartened to see the lack of Badger support. When the team advanced to the national semifinal and final matches in Seattle, they contacted University of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Athletic Department to help them get fans to Seattle.

The endeavor didn’t pan out the way the couple hoped, so the Singletarys took it upon themselves to ensure road support for the Badgers this season. This has all been without financial backing or sponsorship from the UW volleyball program or the university.


The Badger Fan Bus was born.

The Badger Fan Bus is a simple idea that hopes to bring UW volleyball fans, both students and non-students, on road trips to cheer on the volleyball team. After consulting with the Wisconsin Athletic Department, Badger Fan Bus decided to lease from Badger Bus because of its Wi-Fi capabilities and DirecTV subscription on select buses. This is so fans can keep up with other Badger games, such as football, while traveling to away matches, Andrea explained.

Based on a preseason survey on likely travelers conducted by the couple, they decided tickets would not sell for more than $60. However, tickets can drop as low as $30 per seat if the bus fills up, Corey said. Badger Fan Bus is a non-profit group.

The first trip for the Badger Fan Bus this season was to Northwestern Oct. 1, when 19 rowdy Badger fans made the trip on the bus to Evanston, Illinois. The Badgers won the match in a three-set sweep.

“It was a small but energetic group,” Corey said. “Everyone seemed to have a lot of fun.”

Terry and Marie Adams have had season tickets for all but three of the last 15 seasons, and after taking their kids to games, they now take their grandchildren. They were among the group that went on the maiden voyage to Northwestern.

“It appealed to us right away,” Terry said of the Badger Fan Bus. “When we heard about this, we jumped on the bandwagon. When we can, we want to make these trips. It was fun!”

For Marie Adams, the bus allows for a social environment without the stress that comes with driving when fans take to the road to follow the UW volleyball team.

“You don’t have to worry about the driving. It’s all taken care of,” Marie said.

The next trip for the bus was scheduled for Illinois this past weekend. However, due to lack of participation, the trip was cancelled, although Wisconsin would take the match in four sets.

That lack of participation stems from a variety of circumstances, one being little student participation. The ultimate goal would be to have the students involved traveling to away matches, just like the University of Illinois’ “Spike Squad” does, Andrea said. Seeing other student sections passionate about volleyball was another driving force for the creation of Badger Fan Bus.

Rewind to Oct. 27, 2013. It is the day after Freakfest, and UW students are either nursing hangovers or still asleep. Opposite the nearly empty Wisconsin student section is a large group of Illini students at the UW Field House who harassed the Badgers the entire match. Wisconsin ended up losing the match in four sets.

“We felt like it would be great, especially if we could get student involvement, and bring [students] along,” Andrea said. “Students like road trips.”

“I think that if we could get some students who were interested in helping us out, that would give us the ability to market to that core audience,” Andrea added.

The Singletarys are doing everything they can to engage students, but have hit a roadblock because they are considered an athletic booster club. The only sports that permit boosters are men’s basketball and football.

The booster label has greatly inhibited advertising efforts. For example, the Wisconsin volleyball Twitter handle (@BadgerVB) cannot retweet or promote the Badger Fan Bus (@BadgerVB_FanBus) on social media. And since the group is not considered a registered student organization, they are prohibited from posting fliers around campus or in residence halls.

Andrea said the last thing the Singletarys want is for the team or the Wisconsin Athletic Department to get in trouble. In order to even sign up for a trip, fans must sign a waiver stating they acknowledge the bus is in no way affiliated with the volleyball program and the Wisconsin Athletic Department, Corey said.

“We try on our end to make it very easy for the athletic department to not have to worry about what we’re doing,” Corey said.

Another cause of limited participation is conflict with UW football games. That was the case this past Saturday when many fans made the trip to Evanston to cheer on the Badger football team, instead of Champaign for the volleyball game. The longer trips will only logically occur on weekends. For example, the next trip, planned for Iowa on Saturday November 15th, is the same day Wisconsin takes on Nebraska at Camp Randall.

Corey, 36, grew up in Hawaii where volleyball games on Friday and Saturday nights were must-see events.

“When I came up here for college, I just brought that with me,” Corey said.

He said the Wisconsin volleyball team deserves the same recognition and following as football and men’s basketball, since he said he feels it is one of the more elite programs on campus.

Corey convinced Andrea, 33, to go to a game with him Halloween 2006. That night, the Badgers swept Penn State in front of a rocking UW Field House — and she was hooked.

Corey and Andrea have already had positive feedback from people within the program, such as head coach Kelly Sheffield and Director of Operations Jessica Yanz.

Propelling Wisconsin volleyball into the category of “mainstream” on campus will be a challenge. But for people like the Singletarys and the Adamses (and many more), volleyball already lies in the forefront of popularity.

“It’s addicting,” Terry Adams said. “Most people come back because it’s just something you like to watch.”

The best-case scenario for the Singletarys?

“The dream scenario in our mind is that the university sees enough interest here that something happens [within the Athletic Department],” Corey said.

Another favorable outcome would be the formation of a student organization on campus, much like the “Spike Squad.”

“That would be great to just have that kind of organic support at the university and in the community,” Corey said.

With volleyball being a momentum-driven sport, crowd support, even on the road, is necessary for a team’s psyche and success.

“The teams feed off it,” Corey said. “The elite teams in the Big Ten feed off that energy.”

Seeing the player’s appreciation for the devoted fan base makes all of the planning, trials and traveling all worth it for the Singletarys.

“Seeing them look up to see that sea of red behind their bench, and you see the smile on the player’s faces,” Andrea said. “They know we got their backs on the road.”

Andrea’s final message to fans?

“Come try it out. You won’t be sorry.”

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