Success On and Off the Court

Tennis players know that net play takes nerve, speed, confidence, and commitment.

“I love to play the net,” says Amanda Studnicki—in life, it seems, as well as on the court. Co-captain of the UD women’s tennis team, Studnicki maintains a 4.0 average in a challenging major, biomedical engineering.

She has been on the competitive tennis circuit since age 12. At 16, Studnicki boldly charged the net of life: Raised by a single mom, she mustered her courage and left home, moving from Illinois to Florida to enroll in Evert Tennis Academy, founded by tennis great Chris Evert.

Studnicki’s performance at a Florida tennis showcase caught the eye of UD Coach Laura Travis, who offered a scholarship to play for the Blue Hens. Sure enough, her winning ways continue at UD.

Today, Studnicki’s leadership extends from the court to the classroom to the laboratory. A recent undergraduate research opportunity landed her in the Human Robotics Laboratory (HuRo). She teamed with HuRo’s director, Fabrizio Sergi, to help develop a high-tech lower-leg prosthesis for amputees. She also has worked on a design team brainstorming ideas for knee prostheses.

Her love of sports and dance (she’s an avid salsa dancer)—along with her aptitude for math, science, and entrepreneurship—make the prosthesis projects particularly appealing. “They tackle real-world problems, but they also teach teamwork, collaboration, problem-solving, even conflict resolution,” Studnicki explains.

Tennis standout, stellar scholar, UD athletic scholarship. The set adds up to a perfect match.

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