Swagger has been the word for the Fairfield Ludlowe girls volleyball team all throughout the 2010 season.

The team has had a reason to be confident all year as the Falcons have rolled to a 17-3 record and the FCIAC final on Saturday afternoon against undefeated and top-seeded Darien at 5 p.m.

For Ludlowe, the road to the FCIAC final has been paved with disappointment and redemption. The Falcons were bounced in the first round of FCIACs in each of the first two years, including a crushing five-set loss to Trinity Catholic at home in 2009.

However, the Falcons have rebounded in 2010, even redeeming itself from a regular season defeat at the hands of Greenwich. Ludlowe lost the first game, 25-17 and trailed

8-1 in the second, before roaring back and winning the final three games in a 3-1 victory.

"We were able to come through with heart, tenacity and `swagger' as we've been saying all year," Ludlowe head coach Chris Skelton said.

Skelton, a former player at Sacred Heart University, even called on some of his old college teammates to help the Falcons prepare for their semifinal date with the Cardinals.

"We brought in some ex-college players that myself and [assistant Meghan Skelton] used to play with to challenge the girls," Skelton said. "And they rose to the challenge today."

This Ludlowe avenged a 3-1 loss to the Cardinals from Oct. 4 when Greenwich rolled into the Falcons' gym and put on a clinic.

"We knew that if we were going to beat them we were going to have to play with all of our heart," Ludlowe captain Ashley Curtis. "Beating Greenwich was sweet, sweet revenge."

Skelton, and his wife Meghan who was the head coach each of the last two years, have transformed the Falcons' program from dormant to dominant in just three years.

Last year Ludlowe was in the Class LL state championship falling in five games to Southington, after dropping to the Blue Knights in the second round in 2008.

In its championship game with the dominant Blue Wave, Ludlowe will get a chamce to avenge a rather recent defeat. The Falcons lost 3-0 to Darien on Oct. 29. The Blue Wave has won 68 straight matches, since falling to Greenwich in 2008.

"They have this aura about them," Skelton said. "Hopefully the second time playing them, we'll be able to get over that Darien aura and just get down to playing them.

Skelton said that having played Darien just eight days prior is good, as the Blue Wave's stellar play is fresh in his team's head.

"We know everything they have to offer," Skelton said.

For the rest of the team, it is the opportunity to cap a dream season with the win of the seniors' careers.

"We would prefer to have Darien," Curtis said. "We're hoping that we can beat them in the finals."