Three all-tournament players, one tournament MVP and the Alexis Park Classic Title.

Coach Andy Banachowski’s No. 8 UCLA Women’s Volleyball team picked up each of these honors with a decisive trifecta of sweeps over UNLV, Loyola Marymount and Idaho this past weekend in Las Vegas.

But despite their success, Banachowski maintains the Bruins, six matches into their 2009 campaign, have not picked up where they left off last year.

“I don’t think we have the consistency yet that we had with those veteran players (last year),” Banachowski said. “I don’t think we have the confidence, as good as we are.”

Regardless, Banachowski believes that the Bruins’s three sweeps helped build some confidence entering the regular season.

On Friday, the Bruins swept UNLV 25-16, 25-17, 25-16. The Bruins then defeated Loyola Marymount 25-22, 25-23, 25-14 on Saturday morning.

After a short rest, the Bruins initially struggled against Idaho but came together in the third set to sweep them easily, 25-21, 25-21, 25-17.

With the loss of the three of last season’s top starters, outside hitter Ali Daley, setter Nellie Spicer and libero Jessica Fine, all of whom graduated, Banachowski said the team is still building their swagger.

Sophomore middle blocker Amanda Gil, who won tournament MVP this weekend, will likely be a major contributor to the team’s confidence being rebuilt.

Over the three matches, Gil totaled 26 kills with a .412 clip and 19 blocks.

“We’re gaining (confidence) slowly, but surely,” Gil said. “We just need to help our freshmen and our rookies be more comfortable and play their style of game and not be scared or intimidated.”

Among the freshman who have begun getting acclimated to NCAA play, setter Lauren Cook, who was pegged as the team’s starter since the Bruins’ first match on Aug. 28, has emerged as a key player for the Bruins.

“Lauren is running a really good offense,” said junior outside hitter Dicey McGraw, one of the Bruins’ all-tournament players. “She knows all of her hitters already.”

Outside hitters Mari Hole and Rachael Kidder, as well as utility player Bojana Todorovic, all freshmen, also made significant contributions to the Bruins’ success this past weekend.

Hole totaled 20 kills and 18 digs over the three matches while Todorovic had 12 digs. Kidder came up with a kill and a block against Idaho.

“The freshmen are stepping up and we need them to,” Gil said.

But the biggest change for the Bruins was their reconfigured lineup. Senior Kaitlin Sather, usually an outside hitter, spent the weekend playing opposite with Hole starting at outside hitter. Sophomore Lainey Gera, the other Bruin to earn all-tournament honors, remained at libero, while McGraw and Cook remained at outside hitter and setter, respectively.

Gil, along with fellow sophomores Sara Sage and Katie Camp split time at middle blocker.

The Bruins also changed their serving rotation. They usually start with the setter, but Banachowski had the middle blocker begin serving.

“It’s just different playing with different girls,” McGraw said.

Despite need to get used to the new lineup, Banachowski’s shift paid dividend ““ Hole registered 10 kills and six digs in the Bruins’ first match of the tournament, against UNLV.

“Mari is starting to come into her own,” Banachowski said. “She has a great arm swing and is gonna be very valuable for us.”

NEBRASKA AROUND THE CORNER: With the Bruins facing No. 5 Nebraska on Sunday, confidence will be key.

“We still have a ways to go before we can play with the same swagger that last year’s team did,” Banachowski said.

Gil added the Bruins still need to work on not coming out on the court intimidated.

Nebraska being a perennial Big-12 Champion and national title contender, Sunday’s match at the Cornhusker’s home stadium will be a major test of the Bruins’ swagger.

Lauren Cook will be having something of a homecoming on Sunday as her father, John Cook, is Nebraska’s women’s volleyball head coach.