A Champion is Forever
A Champion is Forever

Erica Short-Baker


By Zach Bolinger

Her maiden name was not a good indicator of her stature or the length of lofty athletic achievements, as Erica Short-Baker was a tall order in the athletic arena.

The 2005 Orrville High and 2009 Indiana University Graduate, who’s premier sport was volleyball, has a long list of impressive athletic accomplishments. It has culminated with Short-Baker being selected as a 2024 Wayne County Sports Hall of Fame class member.

“My favorite memory is traveling with teammates/coaches in the van,” said Short-Baker, listed at 6-foot-2 on a lot of team rosters. “Making memories on our way to state and then winning the state championship.”

Short was a volleyball team captain her junior and senior seasons, capping her prep volleyball career by leading Orrville to the 2004 Div. III State Championship. She was a First-Team All-Ohioan and 34th-ranked player in the country, per Prep Volleyball Magazine, at the time.

Short earned first-team honors on 13 different occasions while in high school, from a variety of publications and organizations. She was named Player of the Year by The Daily Record, The Akron Beacon Journal and at the conference, district and state level her senior season.

Short chose Indiana to continue her collegiate career. At Indiana, Short was team captain her senior season and earned First-Team All-Big Ten and Honorable Mention All-American honors. Short had 554 kills her senior campaign, one shy of tying the Hoosiers’ single-season record. Upon graduation (2009), Short had totaled 1,889 career kills to make her the school’s career leader at that time.

During her senior campaign, Short averaged 4.54 kills per set, which ranked ninth nationally. That helped pave the way for Short to become the first Indiana player to earn All-American honors in 23 years.

“We had two different coaches while I was at Indiana: Katie Weismiller my first two years and then Sherry Dunbar-Kruzan,” Short-Baker said. “It was amazing at Indiana.

“Katie taught me so much, about volleyball and life, and how to cope with being a student-athlete. When Sherry came, everything changed. She told me, ‘You have the God-given talent, let’s execute that and take it to the next level.’ She told me I could be a great player, pushed me really hard and gave me the confidence to do it. She also set me up with an agent to play professionally.”

Short’s volleyball ventures didn’t stop at Indiana, as she would go on to play professionally in Puerto Rico, Spain and Germany. Short would eventually transition to the coaching ranks, first as an assistant coach at Malone University for a couple years, before moving to Arizona and giving private lessons a go.

“It was 100 percent amazing getting to travel the world and play volleyball,” Short-Baker said. “In Puerto Rico, for the first time I got to focus on just volleyball and working out and went to the beaches during my free time.

“It was a culture shock at first in Germany because I didn’t know the language, but I met friends that I still have today and wound up having a great time. I tore my meniscus in Germany and kept playing, but when I got to Spain I got the knee looked at and had to stop playing.”

Many also forget that Short was a four-year letterwinner in basketball, averaging a double-double (points and rebounds) her senior season in helping the Red Riders advance to the Div. II Regional Tournament. Her two-sport prowess led to a 2019 induction into the Orrville High School Sports Hall of Fame.

Short-Baker currently resides in Conroe, Texas, moving there in April of 2024. Short-Baker, who holds a degree in Therapeutic Recreation, works as an Account Manager for CVS/Wellpartner. She is married to D’Monn Baker and the couple has a 3-year-old daughter, Kali.

“I’m already teaching her volleyball and basketball skills,” Short-Baker joked. “She will be better than mom.”