Meet the Pros – Marsha Freso
Marsha Freso and her husband Byron are well known in national pickleball circles. She is very humble about her level of play, but she has competed with the best and rides the Onix Bus, so she’s a pro in my eyes. Enjoy!
Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?
2017 USAPA Nationals : Silver – Mixed Doubles 65+/5.0 with Mark Friedenberg
Bronze Women’s Doubles 60/+5.0 (with Dalonna Cooper);
Bronze Women’s Singles 65+/5.0
2017 Huntsman World Senior Games: Silver – Mixed Doubles 65-69 with David Killen
Bronze – Women’s Doubles 65-69A with Carolyn Bagley;
Bronze – Women’s Singles 65-69A
2017 Grand Canyon State Games: Silver – Women’s Doubles 65+ with Carol Lindow
Silver – Mixed Doubles 65+ with Tim Murphy
2016 USAPA Nationals: Silver – Women’s Doubles 55+ with Linda Kauss
Bronze – Mixed Doubles 60+ with Gary M. Miller
2016 Huntsman World Senior Games: Gold – Mixed Doubles 60-64A with Gary M. Miller
2016 US Open Championships: Gold – Mixed Doubles 60+ with Jim Cetlinski
Silver – Women’s Doubles 60+ with Denise Boutin
2016 Grand Canyon State Games: Silver – Women’s Doubles 60+ with Dee Rochel
Bronze – Mixed Doubles 60+ (with Troy Horton)
2015 USAPA Nationals: Silver – Mixed Doubles 60+ with Al Hager
2015 Huntsman World Senior Games: Gold – Mixed Doubles 60-64A with Larry Moon
Gold – Women’s Doubles 60-64A with Sheila Schoonover Bronze – Women’s Singles 60-64
2015 State Games of America: Gold – Mixed Doubles 60+ with Byron Freso
Gold – Women’s Singles 60+; Silver – Women’s Doubles 60+ with Barbara Wintroub
2015 National Senior Games: Silver – Women’s Doubles 55+ with Linda Kauss
Silver – Women’s Singles 60+
What paddle do you play with and why?
I’ve been playing with the Engage Blade for about the past two years. It took me about a month to get comfortable using an elongated paddle. The Blade gives me extra reach, which definitely helps me get to more balls.
What is your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?
I found pickleball in 2011 when my husband and I moved to the Tampa Bay area in Florida from Atlanta, Georgia. Our community had four dedicated pickleball courts at that time and all our new neighbors said we had to learn to play pickleball. Of course, our response was the proverbial “What is pickleball?” After we played the first time, we were hooked! It wasn’t long before we started playing in tournaments in search for additional competition. We now travel the country in the “Onix Bus” — what fun that is!
What is your preference: playing indoors or outdoors?
I prefer playing outdoors, but indoors is fun too.
Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?
I like them both. I enjoy the workout that the singles game offers, but I also like the challenge of working effectively with a doubles partner.
What is your favorite place to play? Why?
The courts at Pine Nursery Park in Bend, Oregon are unique in color and blend perfectly with the surroundings. I find it very soothing to play there.
What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?
I don’t have a “secret sauce.” I just try to get the ball back over the net and in the court. My primary tips are “have fun” and “spread the joy.”
What is your day job?
I have been retired for over 13 years, so my day job is having fun and being kind to others. Pickleball is usually on my daily to-do list.
How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?
I average a few hours of play every day. Remember—I’m retired, so I can play whenever I want to!
Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?
Nope. I don’t look at the draw; I just show up when I’m called to a court. It’s less stressful for me that way.
Do you have any pickleball goals you would like to share?
As a true super senior player (age 65+), my ultimate goal is to be the “last one standing.” I want to compete as long as I’m physically able.
Anything else you would like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?
I LOVE PICKLEBALL! I’m definitely not a pro player, but I am proud to have won or medaled in a good share of the tournaments I’ve played in. The sport has truly changed my life and my husband’s by allowing me to make new friends everywhere and to be more physically active at this stage of my life than I ever dreamed.