17.06.2020 - Vienna, Austria
The importance of serving in the game of beach volleyball is undeniable. More and more, teams not only rely on the skill to help their defensive game, but actually use it as a key piece of their offensive arsenals when battling the best players in the world.
At the Beach Major Series, we’ve witnessed outstanding serving performances from a wide array of players, but those who we selected as the five best in the Series are the ones who have done it on a consistent basis and had a great impact on the success of their teams.
Our list, in alphabetical order, is right here:
Be it with a powerful spinning jump serve or with a well-placed floater, April Ross is always looking to put her opponents in trouble when she’s at the service line, making of her one of the most versatile and dangerous servers in the world. She’s done it quite a lot at the Beach Major Series, most notoriously at the 2017 World Championship, when her tournament-high 24 aces helped Lauren Fendrick and her to secure the silver medals in Vienna. A two-time Olympic medalist, April was also the best server of the 2019 Gstaad Major, which she won with Alix Klineman after registering 15 serve points. The American star has won the World Tour’s Best Server award five times, more than any other athlete, and needs to be in any conversation about the best server in the world. In 15 Beach Major Series appearances, she scored 139 points, averaging 9.27 per tournament.
E Larissa esbanjou talento levantando e fazendo ponto de toque !!! Jogou demais nossa craque como sempre !🙌🙌🙌🙌☺️👏👏👏 Simplesmente Mágica ! #Larissa #LarissaeTalita #magicwoman #presidentscup #underarmour #vult #radix #exercitobrasileiro #longbeach #craque #champions @underarmourbrasil @underarmour @cbvolei @vult_cosmetica @exercito_oficial @larissa_maestrini
Kira Walkenhorst’s team with Laura Ludwig had countless strengths, but Kira’s powerful serves were for sure one of them. The 1.84m-tall blocker was a force when at the service line and her ability to score or, at the very least, disrupt the opponent’s offense made their lives a lot easier on the defensive side of the game. Even though she played in just 12 Beach Major Series events, Kira holds by far the best serving efficiency rate among the women, averaging 14.33 points per tournament, to a total of 179. The Rio 2016 Olympic champion registered 20 or more aces in a single tournament in four occasions, being the best server of the 2015 World Tour Finals in Fort Lauderdale (22), the 2016 Poreč Major (24) and the 2016 Gstaad Major (21) and ranking fourth at the 2017 World Championships in Vienna (20), which she won with Laura.
Serving was just one of the areas in which Larissa França’s game excelled at the Beach Major Series. Part of the team that won a record 25 consecutive matches in the Series with Talita Antunes, the Brazilian defender was very strategical from the service line and had the ability to trap opponents into doing what she wanted with well-placed serves. The London 2012 Olympic bronze medalist was very consistent, rarely recording fewer than eight aces in tournaments, but she reached her peak near the end of her storied career in the Beach Major Series by being the best server of the 2017 World Tour Finals in Hamburg (14) and ranking third at both the World Championship (20) and the Gstaad Major (15) in that same season. A four-time best server in the Brazilian Tour, Larissa averaged 10.42 serve points per tournament in the Beach Major Series, totaling 125 in her 12 events.
Even though she’s Czech, Markétá Sluková is a beach volleyball Swiss Army Knife of sorts. She made it to the London 2012 Olympics as a blocker and returned to the event four years later as an elite defender, but if one thing remains absolutely steady since the beginning of her career it’s her serving ability. Maki is always a treat when she steps at the service line as her serves combine a huge amount of strategy with a level of fluctuation that make them very difficult to control. She has consistently used that weapon in the Beach Major Series, averaging 10.67 aces per tournament (160 points in 15 events). Sluková was the best server of the 2018 World Tour Finals in Hamburg with 15 aces, but her best serving tournament happened the year before, when she ranked second at the Poreč Major with 17 points. A few weeks later, she repeated the finish in Gstaad with 15 aces.
Taliqua Clany is one of the most aggressive servers in the world right now. The Australian star is not shy of using her impressive reach and athleticism to her favor when serving and that has led her to take home the 2018 World Tour Best Server award. Taliqua’s serving ability has always been respected at the Beach Major Series as in just her second tournament, the 2015 Stavanger Major, she registered 18 aces to finish second among the servers. The skill was a real difference-maker for her team with Mariafe Artacho during last year’s World Championship, when she topped all servers with 26 points and helped the Aussies secure the bronze medal in Hamburg, the same location where she had been the best server of a Beach Major Series event for the first time, in 2016, with 16 aces. Taliqua has scored 168 points in 16 tournaments with us so far, averaging 10.5 aces per event.