The fifth-seeded Italians will be one of the featured pairs in the 2015 World Championships as Lupo and Nicolai have been playing together since 2011 on the FIVB World Tour. Entering the 2015 campaign, the Italians have netted nine podium placements and 11 “final four” finishes. Lupo and Nicolai, who won the first two events of the 2014 season in China at Fuzhou and Shanghai along with the European Championships in Cagliari, Italy, placed ninth together at the 2013 World Championships in Stare Jablonki. Nicolai teamed with Francesco Giontella to win the FIVB under-21 World Championships in 2007 and 2008. Lupo and Nicolai placed fifth at the London 2012 Summer Games where they eliminated defending Olympic champions Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers of the United States. Nicolai was honored as the world tour’s most improved player in 2012 and best offensive players in 2014.