by Cliff Mehrtens

HUNTERSVILLE – At age 10, Hannah Archer changed her athletic focus from swimming to tennis.

Good call.

Archer, a freshman at Lake Norman Charter, capped a splendid
debut season by winning the N.C. 1A singles championship.  She helped the Knights win the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A conference title, went 17-3 in singles and was named conference player of the year.

Archer is the Herald Weekly’s Girls Tennis Player of the Year.

“I’m proud of what I did, given I was experiencing the entire high school tennis process for the first time,” she said. “However, I know I have gaps that I must close to take my tennis to another level.”

Archer’s game and rankings have steadily risen, and she’s in North Carolina’s top 20 among amateur players in her age group, according to the U.S. Tennis Association and
She didn’t take long to become Lake Norman Charter’s top player.

“I didn’t know what to expect from the competition, so I went into the season expecting to play my best,” Archer said. “I enjoyed doubles, particularly playing with Catherine Onia, who is a true leader, mentor and friend.”

Archer won the N.C. 1A title with a 6-0, 6-4 victory against Mount Airy High’s Jordan Jackson on Oct. 27 at Cary Tennis Center.

It was the third time in eight days Archer had beaten Jackson, a senior who was the defending state champion. Archer won 6-3, 6-2 in the 1A West regional final, then beat Jackson 6-2, 6-1 when Lake Norman Charter lost to Mount Airy in the second round of the dual-team playoffs.

Her most memorable moment?

“The last point of the state final match,” Archer said. “Jordan hit a great drop shot, and I barely got to it and hit a winner.  Soon after, the NCHSAA presented the trophies, and I was able to share that moment and others with my dad and a few of my teammates.  It was the perfect way to end the season.”

Archer is accomplished off the court, too. In the past 16 straight quarters at school, she’s earned distinguished honors and special recognition in Spanish and math. She’s on the student council and plays the piano.  She has learned Hebrew and is a competitive swimmer for three different teams.

Herald Weekly 2012  GIRLS TENNIS Coach of the Year

Chris Brycki’s Lake Norman Charter girls’ tennis team was strong individually and collectively. That balance and depth makes Brycki the Herald Weekly’s Girls Tennis Coach of the Year.

The Knights had the state’s 1A singles champion (Hannah Archer), didn’t lose a match in Southern Piedmont 1A/2A conference competition and advanced to the second round of the 1A playoffs. They battled to a 5-4 victory against Community School of Davidson in the first round. Five Knights – Sravya Uppalapati, Mallory Warren, Catherine Onia, Sarah McIntosh and Archer – were named to the all-conference team.