The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's basketball team opens the 2008-09 season on the road at #12 Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. on Friday night.

"This will be a huge test for us right from the start." said Islander head coach Robert Robinson. "We will see who is going to step up for us and it will give us an early reading on where we're at."

The Islanders face an early test and some early adversity as they will be without the services of senior center and first team All-SLC member Elisa Beagle.

Beagle injured her foot last week in a scrimmage and will be out for some time.

In her absence, other will be asked to take on a larger role early on in the season. The only other senior, Sarah Davidson, will be starting in place of Beagle. Sophomore Myeisha Myles will see increased playing time from a year ago while junior transfer LaToya Thomas will see more action early on than initially expected.

Davidson recorded a couple of milestones against Vanderbilt when the two teams last met during the 2006-07 season, picking up a career-high 21 points in a career-high 36 minutes.

"I have confidence the players will step up and play well." said Robinson. "The positive part about the situation is that it happened early on and will give us time to gel before the start of conference play."

Robinson said that in addition to the added playing time for the inside players, Islander fans may also see more four guard looks and many different combinations of players early on.

"This will be a good learning period at the beginning of the season." said Robinson. "It will give the players time to understand their new roles and give us time to start playing well heading into the SLC portion of the schedule.

After taking on Vanderbilt, the Islanders return home to play host to Texas Southern on Monday night, Nov. 17 at the American Bank Center. Tipoff is set for 7p.m.