FAIRFIELD — All Hail the 3-Peat.

The Ridgefield High School boys volleyball program continued its iron grip on the Class L state championship Thursday night.

The Tigers rallied from a 2-1 deficit to defeat archrival Darien High, 18-25, 25-19, 22-25, 25-22, 15-9 before a passionate crowd at the Fairfield Warde High gymnasium.

The 2016 edition was the third straight L title for Ridgefield, which downed Darien both in 2016 and 2015 while sweeping Southington in 2014.

“The 3-peat means everything to us,” said Max Meyer, one of four seniors on the Ridgefield squad. “We’ve had great teams and great captains in the past. Our season-long goal this year was to earn that third straight title. Now we are the role models for the next generation of Ridgefield High boys volleyball.”

For No. 5 seed Ridgefield (21-4), the fourth time proved to be the charm in conquering No. 2 seed Darien (24-2). Darien beat Ridgefield twice in the regular season as well as in the 2016 FCIAC Championship final.

Things didn’t look well for the Tigers after Darien won Games 1 and 3 to build a 2-1 edge.

“We preach confidence. One of our mottos is to play every point like it’s 0-0,” Meyer said. “Play in the present. Not in the past.”

So with Ridgefield coach Lidania Cibere wearing her lucky Ridgefield orange dress along with the high heel shoes she’s worn the entire state tournament, the Tigers went to work.

Their depth allowed 6-foot-7 junior hitter Nicholas Laudati (35 kills) to rest on the bench while others performed back row duties. Ridgefield’s versatility in hitters didn’t allow Darien’s defense to focus in one area.

“We won tonight thanks in part to our mental toughness,” Laudati said. “The rest periods helped me a lot. It appeared that Darien (iron-man seven-player rotation) got a little tired in Game 5.”

A big hero for Ridgefield was junior setter Henrik Liapunov. He played the entire way despite a sprained ankle suffered in Ridgefield’s semifinal round triumph over East Hartford.

“We held Henrik out of practice Wednesday,” Cibere said. “Before tonight’s game, he said there was no way he was going to miss the final. Henrik’s steadiness setting helped pull us through.”

It’s all about being together for Ridgefield.

“Our message was that Darien wouldn’t lose without a fight. It was time for us to step up. It was about bilding another chapter to our legacy,” Liapunov said. “Everybody on Ridgefield is important. Everybody has a role. And they all did what was needed for victory.”

This rivalry between Ridgefield and Darien will continue hot and heavy in 2017. Only Hayden Nackley will graduate from this Darien squad.

Darien junior captains Alex Preston (30 kills) and Tim Herget (18 kills) along with freshman setter Tyler Herget (57 assists) fought to the final point.

“Each volleyball game usually comes down to a few points. We had a few bad stretches,” Preston said. “Ridgefield played so hard. They didn’t let our three previous wins over them this year deter them. They have so many different people who stepped up.”

“Our group put so many hours of work and effort in to make this a special season,” Herget said. “But we’re young and we will be better next year.”

CLASS L CHAMPIONSHIP

RIDGEFIELD 18 25 22 25 15 — 3

DARIEN 25 19 25 22 9 —2

Records: Ridgefield 21-4; Darien 24-2.

Highlights: R - Ridgefield has won the last three Class L state crowns. D - Alex Preston 30 kills, 5 service points. Tim Herget 18 kills, 8 service points. Sean McKay 6 kills, 2 blocks. Tyler Herget 57 assists.