With the withdrawal of the Italian team of Adrian Carambula/Alex Ranghieri, the tandem was replaced by compatriots Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai.
Carambula and Ranghieri, the 24th-ranked team on the FIVB World Tour, were selected as a "wild card" entry due to their performance in Swatch Major Series events in Croatia and Switzerland. In reviewing a replacement, Lupo and Nicolai were selected due to the following:
- Lupo and Nicolai are ranked No. 11 on the FIVB World Tour.
- Lupo and Nicolai won the bronze medal at the last FIVB World Tour event in Russia (September 13) where they defeated Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Konstantin Semenov of Russia in the Sochi bronze medal match. The Russians also lost to Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena in the semi-finals.
- Lupo and Nicolai competed in the London 2012 Olympic Games where they defeated Beijing 2008 Summer Game champions Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers of the United States in the first-round of elimination.
- Lupo and Nicolai rank as Italy’s most successful team on the FIVB World Tour. The pair has the country’s most gold medals (two), podium placements (10) and “final four” finishes (12) since the start of FIVB-sanctioned events for men in 1987.
- Playing in 47 FIVB World Tour events, Lupo and Nicolai are also the top Italian team in the international career record book in terms of matches played (246), matches won (164, 66.7 winning percentage) and money earned ($539,600).
- In becoming the first Italian men’s or women’s team to top a FIVB World Tour podium, Lupo and Nicolai posted back-to-back gold medal finishes at the start of the 2014 season in China at Fuzhou and Shanghai.
- Against the other nine teams in the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals, Lupo and Nicolai have a 17-14 match mark.
- In two United States appearances this season, Lupo and Nicolai have placed fifth in St. Petersburg and ninth in Long Beach.
In 2013 at the Long Beach event, Lupo and Nicolai defeated Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson of the United States in the bronze medal match.