Dec. 10, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Claudia Kepler, Katie Matheny, Hayley Studler, Breanne Grant and Alexa Ranahan have all committed to be Buckeyes by signing NCAA National Letters of Intent to enroll at Ohio State, Nate Handrahan, Ohio State women's hockey head coach, announced Monday. The group, which includes three forwards and two defensemen, is set to join the team Fall 2013.
Claudia Kepler – Forward – Verona, Wis. – Madison Capitols
Kepler, a left-handed forward for the 19U Tier 1 Madison Capitols, is a senior at Verona Area High School in Verona, Wis. Last season she tallied 77 points (44 goals, 33 assists) and helped lead the Capitols to third place at nationals. In two seasons with the Capitols 16U squad, Kepler registered 105 scoring points. She was named all-conference second team in varsity softball in 2012 and is a member of the National Honor Society.
“I am excited to move on to the next phase of my life, both academically and athletically,” Kepler said. “I believe Ohio State's facilities and community provide a great opportunity to grow up and succeed. There is a tremendous winning attitude on campus and I can't wait to become a part of that.”
Coach Handrahan: “Claudia will add a great IQ to our team who plays the game the right way. She has great instincts and a heavy shot.”
Katie Matheny – Forward – Chesterfield, Mo. – St. Louis Lady Blues
Matheny, a forward for the St. Louis AAA Blues, is a senior at Westminster Christian Academy near St. Louis. Matheny previously played five seasons for Team Pittsburgh Hockey, helping to lead them to the 2010 14U USA Hockey Tier I National Championship. While playing for Team Pittsburgh, Matheny was the team leader in points for three-consecutive seasons and was named MVP of the 2011 Nike Bauer tournament. She was selected to USA Hockey Select U14, U15 and U16 camps.
“Since I was very young, I always wanted to play ice hockey at a major university with a championship level women’s ice hockey team,” Matheny said. “Having close family ties in the Columbus area made Ohio State a great fit for me. I am excited about the opportunity to be a part of this program and the tradition of excellence at Ohio State.”
Coach Handrahan: “Katie is a scorer, someone who knows how to play in the offensive zone. She has great athletic abilities and will develop here.”
Haley Studler – Forward – Gross Isle, Manitoba – Balmoral Hall Blazers
Studler, a native of Gross Isle, Manitoba, is a captain for the Balmoral Hall Blazers of the JWHL. In 92 career games for Balmoral Hall, Studler has 77 points on 37 goals and 40 assists. She served as an assistant captain for silver medal winning Team Manitoba at the 2012 U18 Nationals and also won a bronze medal with Team Manitoba in 2011. Studler also is a stand-out in softball, helping Team Manitoba win gold at the Western Canadian Softball Championships in 2012 and silver in 2011 while serving as a captain.
“I chose Ohio State after watching the team play and talking to the coaches,” Studler said. “I felt it was a perfect fit for me and my style of play. OSU offers an incredible opportunity to compete at a world-class level athletically, as well as having an exceptional academic program.”
Coach Handrahan: “With the addition of Haley we add a great athlete who has great size and determination. I believe she will be able to help us be strong and big down the middle of the ice.”
Breanne Grant – Defense – New Liskeard, Ontario – Toronto Aeros
Grant, a defenseman for the Toronto Junior Aeros of the PWHL, is an honor roll student at the PEAC School for Elite Athletes. Grant has tallied five assists for the Aeros this season. She helped lead her Midget Aeros team to regular season and playoff championships during the 2011-12 season. She participated at the 2012 Team Canada U18 Strength and Conditioning and Selection Camp as well as the 2012 Team Ontario Final Selection Camp.
“I chose Ohio State because I want to be able to surround myself with people who are not only going to make me a better hockey player, but also a better person and teach me important life skills that will carry on in the future,” Grant said.
Coach Handrahan: “Breanne is a terrific addition to our D Corp. She is a fierce competitor who has outstanding skating abilities. She has experience with Hockey Canada and will be great in our system”
Alexa Ranahan – Defense – Salmon Arm, British Columbia – Okanagan Hockey Academy
Ranahan, a right-handed shooting defenseman for the Okanagan Hockey Academy of the JWHL, has six points in 23 games played this season. In 54 career games for OHA, she has tallied 28 points on 12 goals and 16 assists. Ranahan was selected to the 2012-13 Team Canada women’s under-18 national team.
“I chose Ohio State because of its great school spirit, academics and hockey program," Ranahan said.
Coach Handrahan: “Having been with Hockey Canada, Alexa brings a solid all-around game with a great shot. She will be tough to play against.”