The Lady Blues volleyball team has their own “7th Man” in the form of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity cheering section. Members of Sig Ep have attended as many matches as possible, cheering, and even occasionally dressing in costumes in support of the team.
“We have a bunch of different cheers we do whenever they [the opposing team] hit it out of bounds or into the net or whatever,” said Dave Clark junior and Sig Ep member. “We just try, whenever Washburn starts lolling, we try to pick them up.
Clark said that the group’s goal is sometimes to distract the other team. He said it was not always nice, but reminded that it was a college sporting event.
“It’s more fun to yell things at the other team and try to demoralize [the opposing team],” said Clark. “That’s kind of our goal sometimes, but we try to keep it clean.”
Not just limited to volleyball, Sig Ep has attended other WU sports to spread their school spirit.
“We go to the football games,” said Clark. “We normally sit over in the parent section and try to get them [the parents] involved in the games more.”
Tyler Russell, sophomore and Sig Ep member, explained why some of the fraternity brothers show so much support for Washburn athletics.
“It’s really fun,” said Russell. “Volleyball’s actually really good at it, so it’s fun to cheer on a winning team and support them. And it’s fun because you actually know the girls. Washburn sports don’t have that great of fan pride or whatever, school spirit, so we try to do that.”
Clark has also enjoyed the interaction with the team off the court.
“The volleyball team, they’ll give us feedback,” said Clark. “You know, they’ll talk to us and stuff and thank us whenever they see us around.
“They’ll thank us after the games and everything.”
Clark said that the interaction makes the experience more rewarding. He said knowing that the team supported the efforts and appreciate makes it more fun.
Chris Herron, head volleyball coach, has become aware of the big Sig Ep spirit and is grateful for it.
“We certainly appreciate them,” said Herron. “I mean, I can’t say enough good things about the fact that they’re there. That means a whole lot to all of us, and we notice them, we enjoy them, and we wish there was more of them.”