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GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG freshman women’s tennis standout Erika Barquero will take on some of the top competitors in the world beginning on Wednesday, Feb. 6, when she represents her native Puerto Rico in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Americas Zone Group I being held in Medellin, Colombia.

Puerto Rico, which was promoted to Group I in 2017 after a seven-year stint at Group II, is seeking a spot in the World Group II playoffs for the second time ever and first time since 2005.

“I am very excited, it means a lot to me since this is my first time in the Fed Cup Team,” said Barquero. “It’s always an honor to represent my country and I am looking forward to compete, learn and build new experiences.”

Barquero, who hails from Caguas, Puerto Rico, will compete alongside 2016 Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig, Maria Cecilia Aguiar and Lauren Anzalotta Kynoch. Puig, who is ranked No. 53 in the world, holds the distinction as the only tennis player in Puerto Rico history to capture a gold medal in any discipline, which came in the games held in Rio.

“By watching Monica (Puig) practice and play I am sure I will learn a great deal,” added Barquero. “I will try to make the most of this experience to help me improve my game.”

Between Feb. 6-9, the Puerto Rico unit will be competing against seven other nations including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Paraguay.

“Having Erika represent UNCG and Puerto Rico in the Fed Cup just shows how talented our student athletes are here,” said women’s tennis head coach Ale Guerra. “It is everyone’s dream to represent their country one day, so I am happy to see it come true for her. I’m hoping this achievement inspires our student athletes, both here in the U.S. and internationally, to set their goals high and we are proud to support.”