Lady mantis: Whetstone’s predatory instincts reflect insect fascination


Senior Callie Whetstone broke the Missouri Southern single season block assists record (previously 115) with 150 block assists and 171 total blocks last season. Whetstone finished first nationally with 1.50 blocks per set and second with 171 total blocks. Whetstone was named Second Team All-MIAA, All-MIAA Academic Honor Roll with a 3.83 GPA, and a MIAA Scholor Athlete.

If you follow Callie Whetstone on snapchat, you’ll come to the realization that she has a profound love in insects. Every other snap has some creepy crawler in it or some multi-eyed bug. It’s something you just don’t see every day from a 6’1 collegiate volleyball player. It’s a love for insects that goes back to her childhood. Whetstone’s mom, Dina, used to let three year old Whetstone roam around outside. The outside world would be at the mercy of three year old Whetstone. Whetstone would try to capture any insect in any container she could get her hands on. She would try to bring the insects everywhere she went. In the house, in the car, any place a 3-year-old was allowed to bring insects.

Unlike her love for insects, her love for volleyball is still growing. It’s hard to imagine that her love for the sport of volleyball hasn’t reached its peak considering the passion, the leadership, and the talent she possess on the floor.

Callie recalls being a bench warmer on her junior high volleyball team.

It wasn’t until her sophomore year on the volleyball team that she realized she could become a force in this sport. Her love for the game is relatively still fresh.

“I went from seeing it as something fun to do and to pass time, to something I wanted to take seriously,” said Whetstone. “And naturally I just kind of installed a no lose mentality in volleyball. I hate to lose more than I like to win and that’s how I knew I was in the right sport.”

On the court, Whetstone feels her type of play mostly resembles that of a praying mantis. Yes, a praying mantis. Not a lion, tiger, or bear but praying mantis.

“They’re long, they’re slender, and they’re vicious towards other insects including their own species. Not saying I’m vicious towards my teammates, but they’re feared and pretty dominant insects,” Whetstone said. “I consider myself a predator out there.”

Until her sophomore season in high school, Whetstone was a multi-sport athlete. Whetstone hadn’t developed a real passion for either sport she competed in. In basketball, she fouled out too much, in soccer there’s too much running, and in volleyball she was a bench rider. Whetstone was at a standstill. Whetstone never wanted to give up, but she gives all the credit to her mom and brother for the motivation to stick with volleyball and strive to get better.

“I wanted to be that volleyball player for her. I could just tell she loved it as much as I did and till this day she’s a fanatic. She lives vicariously through me,” Whetstone added about her mom Dina.

As for her brother, Whetstone either was his best friend or his worst enemy.

“When we we’re best friends it was awesome because he gave me a taste of what it’s like to be a time boy and to compete,” said Whetstone. “I always wanted to outwork him and hated losing to him in anything. I hated losing to him in eating, running, anything. He helped me out a lot.”

Whetstone will be suiting up for the Lions in their home debut tonight in Young Gymnasium. Come out and support Whetstone and the Lions as they look to pull out a victory against conference opponent Emporia State.