LOUISVILLE — Coming into her junior season, Shelby Workman's career-high kill total was 13 for a match.
Tuesday night, Workman had 13 kills in a single set, carrying No. 16 Kentucky to a 25-20, 15-25, 25-21, 25-19 victory over archrival Louisville.
UK won at Louisville for the first time since 1993. With four wins in its last five meetings with U of L, the Cats lead the all-time series 27-25.
"She took over, and I'm proud of her for doing that," UK Coach Craig Skinner said of Workman. "She took the load, and other half of that is that Morgan (Bergren) found her a lot and gave her opportunities to score points. She scored with one blocker, two blockers, off speed, hitting it hard and really carried us in that third set."
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Consider that UK's goal is to compile 14 kills as a team in each set.
Workman, 6-foot-1, had a career-best 18 kills last weekend against Northern Iowa. Tuesday, she totaled 21 — one shy of a school record for a four-set match in the rally point era. With 12 digs, she also recorded her first double-double. She led UK in kills for a fifth straight match.
"Just my mentality from game two to three changed," Workman said. "Game two wasn't me, wasn't our team at all. We knew how to bounce back. So I just knew I needed to step up personally from game two to three, and my mentatlity changed."
Bergren finished with 55 assists, a four-set UK record in the rally set era. Jackie Napper finished with a career-high 26 digs.
Workman had five kills in the opening set victory at the KFC Yum Center, which Lauren O'Conner closed with a big spike.
The Wildcats (6-1) never got on track in the second set, though. Maya McClendon's five kills sparked U of L (3-3).
"The second set, we served away from the libero (Napper)," U of L Coach Anne Kordes said. "Served away from the kid that pretty much kept them in the system all night long."
After the intermission, it was all Kentucky, with Workman's huge third set taking a U of L record-crowd 5,862 out of the picture.
"We played well in set one and, obviously, it wasn't pretty for us in set two," Skinner said. "For us to respond like that in the third and fourth set, that says a lot about the character of this group. We have to learn from this experience — being on the road, a big crowd. A good win for us."
Workman was all over the Cardinals in the 25-21 third-set win. UK led 23-14 before U of L closed to within three points late.
"Anytime you come to Louisville, a Kentucky-Louisville rivalry is always going to be a great game," Napper said. "It was a great atmosphere. It was a great match for us. Our team did a great job of bouncing back after that second match, when we kind of went into a little slump. We definitely came out and played our game.
"I just think we went to the locker room and we said 'that's behind us; that's not who we are. We've got to play better.' And we knew that the third game was ours ... but we had to do something different and play better."
The fourth set was tied at 11, but UK took the lead for keeps on consecutive points by Bergren, Workman and Anni Thomasson.
Thomasson and O'Conner would finish with 14 kills each, with Thomasson also logging 13 digs.
"It's a step in our process to get to the next level," Skinner said. "You've got to be able to win in different gyms, different color uniforms, different fans. There's a lot of tough places in the SEC to play, and for us to compete at the highest level we've got to learn how to do this. So it was a big win."
McClendon led U of L with 16 kills.