Santa Barbara ophthalmologist Steve Zelko captured a gold and silver medal at the USA Volleyball Open national championships recently in Salt Lake City.
In the 50 age division, Zelko’s RBC LIfe team won the championship, beating Canada in a double final. After sweeping defending gold medalists Westers States Laguna in the loser’s bracket final (25-19, 25-20), RBC Life handed Canada its first tournament loss, 25-21, 25-20. In a winner-take-all game, Zelko’s team won 25-19.
It was his 13th gold medal in the last 16 years.
Local Steve Rottman took home a bronze medal playing for Western States Laguna
Zelko played with David Rottman on RoofSport in the 45s division. Both are former Gauchos.
RoofSport lost a three-set match to Brazil (25-20, 23-25, 15-13) in the winner’s bracket final but rebounded to get a rematch in the championship final. RoofSport won 30-28, 25-20 to force a double final. Brazil took the deciding game 25-22 to claim the gold medal.
Several other local players competed in the tournament. Robyn Smith won a gold medal in the 65s Division playing for Shinkara 65. The team defeated long-time rival Maverick’s in the title match.
Deia Kidd-Kadlubek was the starting setter for her silver medal-winning Maverick’s 50 team. They lost a thrilling final to Brazil.
SBCC men’s coach Armen Zakarian played for the OCVC Chacarrons team that finished ninth in the Open Division.
Robert Weber earned a bronze medal playing for his Outback Steakhouse 65 team.
Katie Zelko competed in both the women’s 45 and 50s division. Her Shinkara 45s team took 8th, and her Bracket Dance 50s squad placed 11th.