It turns out that the friends I played when I was college...were actually pretty terrible. After playing my brother-in-law for about an hour, it was clear my skills had a lot of catching up to do. Sure, I could return a decent volley here and there, but his serves weren't lobs to start the game, but aces designed to win the round before I even got a shot. It took about three games before I started getting the hang of it, and by then I had lost badly.
I have two choices at this point: tell him to calm down and stop acing serves, or deal with it and get better. The only way to get better at anything is to be really bad at it for a while.