Italy were ranked fifth at last year’s FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix with six victories in the preliminary round that paved their way to the Finals in Omaha. They did not participate in the 2015 edition of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Cup, but qualified for this year’s Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro by winning the Women’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Japan from May 14-22.
Italy have had a good run at the World Grand Prix since the turn of the millennium, winning silver medals in 2004 and 2005 and bronze in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010. But performances have dipped recently with 2013’s fifth being preceded by finishes of seventh in 2011 and 10th in 2012. They were ninth in 2014.
Italy’s big chance to impress came in 2014 as they hosted the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship. They progressed all the way to the semifinals where they lost to China before being defeated by powerhouses Brazil in the bronze medal match.
Italy won FIVB Volleyball World Cup titles in 2007 and 2011 and the Grand Champions Cup in 2009. At the European Championship in 2013, they came sixth after losing to Serbia in straight sets in the quarterfinals in Zurich.