22.07.2020 - Vienna, Austria
Nicknames are, by definition, a cool thing. The idea of calling someone something other than their names due to physical features, personal habits or character preferences or skills typically results in some funny ways to describe people.
Several beach volleyball players have fantastic nicknames that enlighten their impressive skills on or off the court and the reason for that is that the fun, relaxed and passionate atmosphere of the sport provides just the perfect setting for these associations to be made.
Among the several amazing nicknames in the sport, here are the five that stand out the most:
Melissa Humana-Paredes is absolutely lethal in a beach volleyball court. The Canadian star can serve, dig, pass, set and spike at a world-class level and is a nightmare for her opponents. One thing she also does better than most competing at the Beach Major Series is smiling. The 2019 world champion has an infectious personality and is one of those people everyone wants to have around. That gets her love from fans, teammates and opponents – even after she just destroyed them in the sand.
When a friend first called Alison Cerutti a Mammoth, in a reference to the lovely character of the Ice Age movie, it was to mock of his struggles to move in the sand in one of his very first beach volleyball training sessions. That struggle is long gone, but the nickname stayed, now as a tribute to the Brazilian’s impressive body frame. At 2.03m and 102kg, the Rio 2016 Olympic champion is an imposing figure at the net and one of the most physical players on Tour. And he grew to love his nickname so much that he tattooed a Mammoth on his body.
Kerri Walsh Jennings shines in every aspect of her existence. The American is not only the most accomplished beach volleyball player in the history of the sport, but also an athlete that emanates good energies and positivity everywhere she goes. Kerri is also known by always seeing the bright side of things and that led her husband and former beach volleyball player Casey Jennings to call her Six Feet of Sunshine. We can’t think of a nickname that would fit her better.
More than a nickname, that has become Aleksandrs Samoilovs’ identity at the Beach Major Series. One might, for a moment, forget his name but if you mention it’s the Lion King you’re talking about, anyone will know who it is. One of the nicest parts of it is that Samoilovs fully embraced the nickname, a reference to his long, wind-swinging, blond hair and his fiery personality, like few others, impersonating a lion during and after matches.
Sarah Sponcil hasn’t been in the Beach Major Series for a while, but she came in with one of the coolest nicknames on Tour. An acrobatic defender who loves to use her athleticism to race the court and chase balls with diving moves, the two-time American collegiate champion has quickly established a name for herself. Her appetite on defense is similar to the one of a hungry squirrel, except that she’s not looking for a walnut, but something slightly larger.