Beach Pro Tour - News


Poles Bryl and Losiak won five medals in 2022 and will look for more this season

The numerous exciting battles that we saw in the 2023 Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour season-opening event in Doha, Qatar, earlier in February, were just a small sample of what is to be expected from the season ahead in international beach volleyball.

With the sport having arguably its highest level ever and a format that sets up clashes among the top teams on the planet week in, and week out, it’s a fact that every Elite16 and Challenge tournament set to take place in 2023 will be packed with breathtaking duels.

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As players around the world prepare for the resumption of the 2023 Beach Pro Tour in Mexico in March, here are ten men’s teams that seem poised to be involved in some of the most exciting duels of the year:

10. McHugh/Burnett (Australia)

Australian teams have long been among the most exciting in international beach volleyball because of their aggressive playing style, but McHugh and Burnett have what it takes to move up to another level. While the 2022 Commonwealth Games winners are both very technical, they’re also tall and athletic, adding another dimension to their game. The Aussies medalled twice at the Challenge level in their first season as partners, taking silver in Kuşadası and bronze in front of their home fans in Torquay, but as the 25-year-old Burnett continues to develop under the mentorship of Tokyo Olympian McHugh, they will certainly go for more in 2023.

9. Andre/George (Brazil)

There’s been a lot of movement involving Brazilian players over the last few years, but Andre and George remain steady as partners since 2019. The two have grown a lot as partners, and had significant success at the international level. They won ten medals (three golds, one silver, four bronze) in 31 tournaments, and established themselves as one of the most consistent teams on the Tour. Andre and George appear to be in a strong position to qualify for the Olympics for the first time and will do everything they can to make it happen.

8. Lyneel/Bassereau (France)

France are set to have a men’s team at the Olympics for the first time in 20 years at Paris 2024 and although the duo that will represent the country at home is yet to be chosen, Lyneel and Bassereau are definitely in the mix. The two, in fact, transitioned from volleyball to the sand with that goal in mindm and played some solid matches in the second half of 2022, just a few months after the move was completed. With a full preseason under their belts and more playing time on the sand, the French expect to show significant improvement in 2023 and solidify their names as candidates for the host country’s Olympic berth.

7. Carambula/Ranghieiri (Italy)

When Carambula and Ranghieri announced they were joining forces again at the end of 2022, there were no doubts that they would form a solid team. But not many people expected them to be as good as they were between 2015 and 2017, when they qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympics. With three medals won in the four tournaments they have played since their reunion, however, that seems to be the case. And the Italians should make the internal battle for Olympic qualification with compatriots Paolo Nicolai/Samuele Cottafava and Daniele Lupo/Enrico Rossi a very fun one to watch.

6. Boermans/De Groot (Netherlands)

The Dutch accomplished a lot in a very short period of time between 2021 and the start of 2022, but a serious injury sustained by De Groot has kept them separated for nearly ten months now. In their magic 14 months, Boermans and De Groot went from being a qualifier team to ranking first in the FIVB World Rankings and had a big FIVB World Tour victory in Gstaad, besides taking silver at the European Championship. If they are able to get anywhere near the level they displayed in that period, they will for sure be among the top teams on the Beach Pro Tour.

5. Mol/Sørum (Norway)

The reigning Olympic, world and Beach Pro Tour champions certainly belong on the list, especially after they started 2023 with gold medals won at both the 2022 Beach Pro Tour Finals and the Doha Elite16 with 12 victories in as many matches. The Beach Volley Vikings have been dominating international beach volleyball since 2018 and that seems unlikely to change anytime soon. They’re young, tall, very efficient in big moments and still seem to always find ways to elevate their game and remain above their competitors no matter what.

4. Bryl/Losiak (Poland)

New teams can take some time to click, but that wasn’t the case for Bryl and Losiak. Coming from long partnerships that took them to the Olympics, the Poles joined forces last year and had a spectacular first season, winning five medals in 13 Beach Pro Tour tournaments, including four golds. Their 2023 season started with a semifinal appearance in Doha and, considering that Bryl and Losiak are in the prime of their careers and have vast experience at the international level, there’s no reason to believe they can’t be as consistent as they were in 2022.

3. Cherif/Ahmed (Qatar)

Although their ninth-place finish at the Doha Elite16 may have been frustrating, never discount the Tokyo Olympic bronze medallists. Cherif and Ahmed won four medals (two gold, one silver, one bronze) in the 2022 Beach Pro Tour season and continue among the very best in international beach volleyball. Possibly the most physical team on the Beach Pro Tour, the Qataris use their athleticism in the most important moments of the season and play with a high level of energy that captivates fans.

2. Åhman/Hellvig (Sweden)

Åhman and Hellvig were considered the most exciting young team in international beach volleyball not long ago and, although they’re still young and have been more exciting than ever, it’s fair to say they've earned the right to be simply labeled as one of the top teams in the world. Their dynamic playing style, full of jump sets and swings on two, is a joy to watch. It has also led them to outstanding results – such as their victories at two Challenge tournaments and the European Championship in 2022. The 21-year-old Swedes took silver at the Doha Elite16 and proved they are ready to contend at this level too.

1. Benesh/Partain (USA)

Several new teams were recently announced in the United States but none of them have as much potential as the one formed by Benesh, 27, and Partain, 21. The two were together at three events in the final portion of the 2022 Beach Pro Tour season and won gold at the Dubai Challenge, displaying their potential together. While Benesh is a strong candidate to help fill the void among American blockers caused by the recent retirements of Phil Dalhausser and Jake Gibb, the left-handed Partain is the most promising defender in the country.