10.06.2020 - Vienna, Austria
Serving should probably be renamed in men’s beach volleyball. For the last several seasons, it’s fair to say most of the players competing at the Beach Major Series have been actually spiking right from the service line as they hit the ball straight down with an impressive amount of power against their opponents’ courts every time they can.
Disrupting the opposing offense with an effective serve has become almost a rule for teams to succeed at the World Tour, so those who count on an excellent server have a considerable advantage over their opponents. The trend has also reflected in the Beach Major Series and, as so, we decided to pick the five best male servers to compete in the Series over the past five years.
Our list, in alphabetical order, is right here:
Losiak is the only defender to be part of our list, which speaks volumes about his serving ability as he’s at least 15cm shorter than all of the other selected players. At 1.91m, the Polish star built most of his serving resume in the early years of the Beach Major Series as he registered at least one tournament with 20+ serving points during each of the 2015, 2016 and 2017 seasons. His serves and their creative offense are the trademarks of his long-lasting partnership with Piotr Kantor. Losiak was the best server in four of the 17 Beach Major Series events he played at and was the second-best from the service line at the 2017 World Championships. The Rio 2016 Olympian changed his serving style recently, switching from his powerful jump serve to more of a strategic one, but still remained competitive enough to compile 149 serving points at the Beach Major Series, averaging impressive 8.76 per tournament.
We honestly believe there was no need to explain why Evandro made the list, but here we go. The Brazilian star has taken home the World Tour Best Sever award in each of the last five seasons, the most a player has ever done it. At 2.10m, Evandro is absolutely unstoppable when he gets his serving going due to the incredible reach he has and the crazy angles he’s able to send the ball. The technique has led him to record unbelievable 286 serving points at the Beach Major Series at an unrivalled average of 15.05 per event. His numbers were inflated by his spectacular performance at the 2017 World Championships, when he scored a record 43 points from the service line, but he’s consistent, being the best in the skill in ten of the 19 Beach Major Series tournaments he competed at. If you still don’t think his skills are that good, just remember what he did three years ago in Vienna, when he was facing the home heroes and 15,000 passionate Austrian fans in a very uncomfortable position at the World Championship gold medal match.
If anyone matches Evandro’s serving power in the World Tour right now, that’s certainly Paolo Nicolai. The Italian Olympic medalist is one of the most complete blockers in the sport, but his serving game is what makes of him a very special player. Nicolai, who celebrated his 32nd birthday on Monday, is yet to win a World Tour Best Server award, but he already wrote his name in the history of the sport with this skill as he registered the fastest beach volleyball serve ever at the 2018 Gstaad Major, when one of his bombs reached impressive 119 kilometers per hour. The next year, he was the best server of the tournament at the Swiss Alps with 14 points, his best performance to date. Nicolai’s total numbers at the Beach Major Series are very solid as the veteran has scored straight from the service line 140 times in 18 tournaments so far, averaging a respectful 7.78 points per event.
What a ripper! 🔥🔥🔥😅@federvolley's Paolo Nicolai smashes a new beach volleyball world record! The fastest recorded serve in the sport at 119 kph! ☄️ @GWR@FIVBBeach @FIVBVolleyball @Volleyball_It @Gazzetta_it 🇮🇹 pic.twitter.com/WoLtHVlxAt— Beach Volleyball Major Series (@BeachMajors) July 18, 2018
Phil Dalhausser has been a consistent treat from the service line for the most part of the last 15 years. Even though he only won the World Tour Best Server award once, which is understandable when you’re competing with the likes of Evandro and former Russian player Igor Kolodinsky, who took the prize four years in a row, the American star has always relied on his game from the service line to succeed. A decade ago, Phil was a scary jump server, who had a huge reach and would hammer the ball straight down the opponents’ court over and over. As he got older, he switched his serve to a floater most of the times, but he still got the ability to serve his way to win tournaments, as he showed at the 2017 Fort Lauderdale Major, when, at the age of 37, he topped all servers with 16 points to take gold with Nick Lucena. That was the American’s best performance in 16 Beach Major Series events as he totals 126 points and averages 7.88 aces per tournament.
Robert Meeuwsen was the best sever of the first-ever Beach Major Series tournament, the 2015 Poreč Major, which he won with Alexander Brouwer after scoring 19 points from the service line. That was the Dutch’s best serving performance to date in the Series, but he was in the top-three in seven of the other 17 tournaments he competed at. His team’s success is directly connected to his serving performance as in all of these occasions the Dutch finished in the top-five and in four of them they reached the podium. A bronze medalist at the Rio 2016 Olympics and a 2015 world champion, Rob uses his massive vertical to make contact with the ball at a very high point and he accelerates it tremendously, making it difficult for opponents to react to his well-placed serves. The 32-year-old, 2.07m-tall Dutch has celebrated 154 serving points at the Beach Major Series so far, averaging 8.56 per event.
Okay, it's hard to argue for Adrian Carambula's inclusion in this list with mere 40 points and an 3.33 aces per tournament average, but how in the world would we miss Mr. Skyball? The Italian star might not have the most effective serve in beach volleyball, even though he scores his aces here and there, but it's by far the most entertaining one and that counts too, so here's our nod to him.