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January 04, 2024

Lid & Serrano Hit Milestones

A legendary Holy Angels coach and a rising hoop star realized athletic milestones on the basketball court within a few days of each other. On December 30, 2023, Coach Susan Liddy of Emerson earned her 800th career victory with the Academy’s varsity basketball team. On January 2, 2024, combo guard Samantha Serrano (AHA ’24) of Nanuet, New York, scored her 1,000th career point.


“When I made my shot and was about to score my 1,000th point, I was thinking about all the hard work, late nights, and extra hours I put in the gym,” Serrano said. “Hitting my 1,000th point was a dream come true; it has been on my mind since freshman year…I knew coming into the Paramus Catholic game that it was going to be tough. I know that I’m known in Jersey and teams know how I play, but that wasn’t going to stop me from hitting my 1000th. My teammates helped to get me open so I could get my shots and helped me achieve my goals. Without my teammates, my coaches, family, and friends this wouldn’t be possible.”

AHA senior Samantha Serrano celebrates after joining the 1,000 point club.

Serrano is already looking ahead to her next athletic goals.


“Before I graduate from AHA I would like to take my team to the championship and win,” she shared. She also aims to play basketball at the college level, and is already receiving attention from Division 1 teams.


“Sam is probably one of the most naturally talented athletes I’ve seen in a while,” said AHA Athletic Director Jessica Hogan. “When she’s on the court, she’s hard to shut down. I’m looking forward to seeing what she brings the rest of the season.”


Serrano has been playing basketball for about five years. In the spring of 2023, she earned First Team All-County recognition for scoring over 25 points per game, and her game high of 37 points. She is known for deep three-pointers and her ability to steal the ball from her opponents. This Angel is also part of the AHA Softball Team that played in the 2023 NJ State Tournament.


Coach Liddy is thrilled with her 800th career win with Holy Angels. The victory came at the Joe Poli Tournament, as AHA played Cresskill.


“I feel it is a great accomplishment. With that said, I have been blessed with very good players who bought into the system, listened, and gave 100% all the time. I have had some tremendous assistant coaches along the way who made me look good,” Liddy acknowledged.


Liddy’s assistants are Sean Liddy and Alyssa Lane. The current varsity roster includes Anna Calianese, Daria Coll, Julia Covino, Angelina Finnerty, Amanda Garcia, Celeste Harper, Lara Kraus, Sarah Machado, Sam Serrano, Julia Toker, Genevieve Tuohy, and Emily Vonderhorst.

Coach Susan Liddy recently notched 800 wins with the AHA Basketball Team.

What was going through Liddy’s mind during the final minutes of the tournament?


“I was thinking about finishing the game. Then the players who were on the bench started jumping up and down and I knew it was over. I felt relieved. There was a lot of pressure on this team to win. I am proud of them and every player I coached because they were a part of this milestone.”


Liddy genuinely loves what she does. “It is fun for me,” she noted, adding that she plans to continue her work at AHA as long as she enjoys coaching and making a difference with the players.


“Sue is a legend. Who doesn’t know Sue Liddy?” AD Hogan commented. “I think this achievement is well deserved and well earned. Her commitment to our student athletes is a real gift. We’re really lucky to have her on our staff.”

Coach Liddy retired from her full-time work at AHA in 2022. She was a long-time health and physical education teacher who made a name for herself as coach of the Academy’s varsity basketball, varsity softball, and JV tennis teams. She retained her coaching duties, which she began with the Angels’ basketball team in 1974. Over the years, her teams have won multiple Bergen County Championships, played in several State Sectional Finals, and won a state championship. Her squad was Team of the Year four times. Her softball teams have made the State Sectionals several times.


Liddy earned a bachelor’s degree at Upper Iowa University and a master’s at Montclair State University. She was inducted into the Upper Iowa Hall of Fame, the New Jersey Coaches Hall of Fame, and the Borough of Closter’s Hall of Fame. In 2018, the floor of AHA’s gym was rededicated as “Lid’s Court.” She served as the Academy’s athletic director from 1988-2001, and runs the Sue Liddy Basketball Camp during the summer.


Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious school serves young women from many cultural and religious backgrounds. AHA’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.