Spike-A-Jesuit: Jesuits Bond with Students through Volleyball

Jesuit Father Kevin Fitzgerald eyes the ball before playing it over to the students during Spike-a-Jesuit action.

Jesuit Father Kevin Fitzgerald eyes the ball before playing it over to Georgetown students during a Spike-a-Jesuit game.


For the past 10 years, Georgetown University has held a Jesuit Heritage Week to celebrate the school’s Jesuit character. But one event is more emotional and anticipated than the rest: the annual Spike-A-Jesuit volleyball match.

“I’m a bit of a twisted soul, but I look forward to this match the day after it’s finished,” said Jesuit Father Pat Rogers. “I’m in charge of rallying up the Jesuits and it’s just a lot of fun; we talk it up a whole lot and the guys get really excited about it.”

The Jesuit community had a perfect 8-0 record entering the 2010 match, their first loss. The students defeated the Jesuits for the second year in a row on Feb. 1.

“It’s pretty simple, the students were really quite better than we were,” Fr. Rogers said. “Actually I’m pretty proud of ourselves because we’re a pretty old team, and we get out there and we try and we scrape.”

While the Jesuits lost the first two games and therefore the match in the best-of-three format, both teams decided to keep playing, and the Jesuits won the third and fourth games.

“We started playing as a team, and we have age and wisdom on our side,” said Jesuit Father Matthew Carnes.

Fr. Carnes credited a fundamental Jesuit skill as the reason for their success in volleyball: discernment. “Discerning the weaknesses on the other side, discerning your strengths, and using them to your advantage is what it’s all about,” he said.

As he left the court, Rogers said, “The students better not get too full of themselves, because we will be back.”

For more on the volleyball game, visit the Georgetown Voice.

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