Senior golfer Blake Taylor (left) and sophomore tennis player Diogo Marques (right).

The American Athletic Conference chose two East Carolina University athletes to highlight this month. Senior golfer Blake Taylor and sophomore tennis player Diogo Marques were both awarded September’s Player-of-the-Month award for their respective sports.

Taylor was named American Athletic Conference Golfer-of-the-Month for September, making him only the third player in ECU’s history to receive the award and the first since 2016. Three tournaments into the season Taylor has a 69.56 strokes per round average, two top-10 finishes and has shot par or better in eight of the nine rounds played.

“What a fantastic honor for Blake,” head golf coach Andrew Sapp said in a press release. “Well deserved as he has gotten off to a wonderful start this fall. We are proud of Blake and excited to see him keep up his great play.”

Taylor finished third at the Old Town Club Collegiate, placing ahead of five of the seven top-40 players in the nation that were in attendance and broke the ECU single round record with a first round score of 63. He also finished tied for sixth at the Island Resort Collegiate, helping the Pirates capture a third-place finish, then went on to finish 12th in the Rod Myers Invitational two weeks later.

Marques has played an undefeated singles season thus far in 2019. He won his first collegiate trophy when he won his draw at the Liberty Invitational, the first tournament of the season. Marques then went on to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Fall Invite where he played a perfect 4-0, winning all four matches in straight sets.

“This is well deserved for Diogo,” head tennis coach Shawn Heinchon said in a press release. “He has put a lot of hard work in both on and off the court not only since he’s been back, but also over the summer. It’s great to see all that paying off for him.”

This is the first conference honor of Marques’ career. He now holds a 27-11 singles record during his time playing for ECU. Marques is the first ECU player to be named American Player-of-the-Month in tennis since joining the conference in 2014.

Both Taylor and Marques will return to action this coming weekend. Taylor and the men’s golf team will head to Johnson City, Tennessee for the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate and will begin play on Oct. 11. Marques and the men’s tennis team will travel to Richmond, Virginia for the Richmond Fall Tournament, which will also begin on the 11th.

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