Even though the women’s squash team boasts fewer players on its squad this year, the team hopes that its hard work and extra morning sessions will pay great dividends.

The Bulldogs will kick off their regular season against Stanford at home today. Yale finished in fourth place in the Ivy League last year, and for the past few months, players have been working hard so that they can vie for a team title. The team has lost several key players over the past two years, and they will look to the remaining seniors to anchor the team. The Bulldogs will also look to the four freshmen on the team to contribute.

Seniors said that practices have been going very well, and they have also been holding more morning practices than in previous years.

“We’re really excited for this season,” Sarah Barenbaum ’08 said. “We’re ready to show everyone what we’ve accomplished in pre-season.”

Last weekend, the Elis placed third in the Ivy Scrimmage, a pre-season tournament. The Bulldogs defeated Dartmouth 7-2 to advance to the semi-finals, where they ultimately lost to the Princeton Tigers. The Elis bounced back from the loss and scored 5-4 to beat Harvard. Captain Miranda Ranieri ’08 and Tara Wadhwa ’09 won three matches each over the course of the weekend. Ranieri said the Scrimmage was an excellent opportunity for the team to assess their competition.

“Everyone was really nervous going in, especially the freshmen, and for them to get their nerves out was great because we were able to see what the competition looks like this year,” she said.

Several players said they were particularly pleased with the results given that some members of the team — Logan Greer ’11 and Alia Aziz ’10 — were not in the lineup.

“The Ivy Scrimmage was a lot of fun, and I think we performed really well against the competition, especially considering that two of our top nine were sitting out for injuries,” Elisabeth Hill ’08 said.

The squad will face off against Stanford at the Brady Squash Center at 3 p.m. today. The Cardinal are led by Mark Talbott — a former Yale head coach and brother of the Elis’ current head coach Dave Talbott. Hill said the team is ready for their official season to begin.

“We’re excited to play, and we’re hoping to get a lot of people out to watch,” she said.