Robert Husseman, The Triplicate

Forfeiting three matches at the beginning of a first-to-five-wins team match is enough of a stumbling block.

The Del Norte High boys tennis team compounded matters Thursday afternoon with mental mistakes that added up in a hurry against Fortuna High. The Huskies ended up shutting out the Warriors, 9-0, in the match, held at the Del Norte High School tennis courts.

"Tennis is a mental game - that's what took us out," Del Norte coach Sara Sampels said. "All the kids learned something."

Warriors senior Doug Ovick fared the best on the day in his No. 3 singles match against Fortuna's Kyle Franck. Ovick pushed the match to three sets by capitalizing on Franck's errors but ultimately lost, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.

Huskies No. 1 singles player John Gearhart defeated Del Norte's Blair Westbrook, 6-0, 6-1. Westbrook's brother, Warriors sophomore Alec Westbrook, fell to Fortuna's Jack Roval, 6-3, 6-1, at No. 2 singles. Those two matches, the first to finish on the afternoon, sealed the team victory for the Huskies early on.

Del Norte freshman Cameron Douglas fell to his No. 4 singles opponent, Fortuna's Zach Cline, 6-4, 6-1.

In the No. 1 doubles match, the Westbrook brothers lost to Gearhart and Roval, 8-0. Ovick and Douglas, playing together for the first time this season at No. 2 doubles, fell to Fortuna's Franck and Chase Gatlin, 8-1.

Del Norte (2-3 overall) continues its season today at Eureka High School in a 10 a.m. match against the Loggers.

Reach Robert Husseman at