OKLAHOMA CITY — Southeastern Oklahoma State’s Manuel Pilotto beat four seeded opponents as an unseeded player en route to becoming the first Storm tennis player to win the ITA Central Region Individual Championship.


Pilotto picked up six straight wins to take the title and earning a berth in the 2019 ITA Cup in Rome, Ga. on Oct. 17-20.


He opened play with a 7-6, 6-2 victory over Washburn’s Bradley Eiedenmueller in the round of 64, setting up a meeting against his first seeded opponent, Stuart Rehfuss from Southern Arkansas who was a top-eight seed, handing him a 6-2, 6-4 loss to move to the round of 16.


There he faced his second-straight Great American Conference foe in Louis Tiardo from Harding, besting him 0-6, 6-2, 10-6 to advance to the quarterfinals.


In the quarters he faced his second seeded foe in Paul Hasse from Washburn, who was a 9-16 seed and downed him 6-2, 6-3.


Once in the semifinals he squared off with Oklahoma Baptist’s Bruno Suiama, who was also a 9-16 seed and rallied for a three-set victory, 1-6, 6-3, 12-10, to reach the finals.


In the finals he faced a top-eight seeded Marko Nikoliuk from Southern Arkansas and survived a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 match to take home the ITA Central Region Individual Championship.