Jamie Voelker


Hometown: Hutchinson, MN
Current Residence: Minneapolis, MN
Career highlights:
2023 PPA Atlanta – Women’s 5.0 Singles – Bronze
2023 PPA Atlanta – Women’s 4.5 Doubles – Bronze

Jamie Voelker clinched two third-place finishes in her first pickleball tournament: a pretty good showing for someone who’d to that point played just for fun, got tossed into the 5.0 women’s singles bracket and was there only because a trip fell through—when she traded in a winter getaway to Arizona for a weekend of pickleball in Atlanta.

Excelling in competition isn’t new to the 29-year-old Minnesota native. She was a top tennis player in her college division, competes in rodeo events like barrel racing and races motorcycles. Ever true to her status as a child of the North Star state, Jamie was on ice skates at an early age—rising to become a competitive figure skater until offered an athletic scholarship to play college tennis.

“I like the aspect of competing and winning, because it gives me a goal,” she says. “My mom is very competitive; I definitely get that from her. There was never a game of badminton or basketball growing up that was just casual in our family.”

Pickleball started out as a fun diversion for Jamie and her longtime partner, Ike Messmore, but quickly transformed into two-a-day trainings following her debut showing. Messmore, an attorney who met Jamie racing motorcycles, is fine with relegation to the occasional game.

“I became obsessive with pickleball, and when I started training every day it became less fun for him,” she says. “He’s super-competitive, though, so he understands; racing motorcycles is more our thing. That and our dogs. And food and wine, which is how we make vacation plans.

“But if it weren’t for that first tournament, I’d probably still be playing just once or twice a week and be focused more on racing motorcycles and horses. It really flipped a switch and inspired me to see where I could get in this sport.”

Aside from killing it on the court, the community of players Jamie met in tournament play is what draws her to the game.

Players she beat in early rounds of the Atlanta PPA came out to support her, as did a contingent of Minnesotans—people she’d never met but cheered her on.

“I now play with pros like Aanik Lohani and Chad Flynn, players who help me learn what I’m missing in the game. They all are so nice, welcoming and supportive. They were so wonderful to me right off the bat,” she says.

“Everyone’s always wanting to play, and not in a cutthroat and competitive way like tennis. People offer their expertise because they have a lot to give—and share it because they want others to succeed,” she says.

“Still, heading to the local open-play courts with Ike after work probably still is my favorite.”

Jamie’s No. 1 goal: Turn pro and give back to the game in the same way.

No doubt she will.